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(late Mozlet), 










SECOND PEBIOD— Cbti^mii^d. 


VIIL The Defence of Rome ... 

IX. Betbeat ... ... ' ... 

'tx. f iXlL B •*• ... •.• ... 

XL Betubn to Political Life ... 

XIL In Central Italy 


••• oz 

... 124 


I. The Sicilian Campaign, May, 1860 ... ... 142 

IL The Fifth of May, 1860 ... ... ... 153 

III. From Quabto to Mabsala ... ... ... 155 

IV. Calatafimi, May 15, 1860 ... ... ... 168 

v. Calatafimi to Palermo ... ... ... 171 

VL ROSAUNO PiLO AND CORRAO ... ... ... 174 

VII. Calatafimi to Palermo- eotiftnued ... ... 176 

VIII. The Attack on Palermo, May 27, 1860 ... 181 

IX. Milazzo ... ... ... ... ... 192 

X. The Fight at Milazzo ... ... ... 197 

XI. In the Strait of Messina ... ... ... 204 

XII. On the BIainland of Naples ... ... 208 

XIII. The Attack on Regoio ... ... ... 210 

XIV. Entry into Naples, September 7, 1860 ... 215 
XV. Preliminaries of the Battle of tub Volturno, 

October 1, 1860 ... ... ... ... 222 

XVI. Battle of the Voltdrno ... ... ... 225 

XVIL Bronzetti at Castel Morone, October 1, 1860 ... 236 

XVIIL Battle or Cabbbta Veochia, October 2, 1860 238 





I. The Aspbomonte Campaign, 1862 

II. The Campaign in the Tyrol 

III. Vabioos Engagements ... 

IV. Fight at Bezzecca, July "21 
V. Agbo Romano ... 

VI. From Sardinia to the Mainland 
VII. Tub Attack on Montebotondo ... 
VIII. Mentana, Novembeb 3, 1867 


... 243 

... 261 

... 283 

... 297 



I. The Fbench Campaign ... 

II. Fights at Lantenay and Autun 

III. Januaby 21-23, 1871 

IV. Retbeat— Bobdeaux — Caprbba, 1871 

JvFPENDIjL ... ... (.. ... 

... 316 

... «JT^ 

... 361 







The legion's stay at San Silvestro was of short 
duration, as on the following day we received orders to 
encamp on the square of the Vatican, and then to 
garrison the walls from Porta San Pancrazio to Porta 
Portese. The approach of the French being imminent, 
it was necessary to prepare at once for their reception. 
The sun of April 30, 1849, was to shine upon tlie glory 
(»f the young and inexperienced defenders of Rome, and 
the shameful flight of the clerical and reactionary forces. 
General Avezzana's system of defence was quite worthy 
of that veteran of liberty, who, with unwearied activity, 
had provided for everything, and was to be found at all 
|>oints where liis presence was likely to be required. 
Being charged with the defence between Porta San 

VOL. ir. B 


Pancrazio and Porta Porteae, I had established strong 
advanced posts outside these two gates, utilining for 
this purpose the commanding situation of the palaces oF 
Villa Coraini (Quattro Venti), Vaseelli, and other points 
suitable for defence. 

Observing the dominant position of these buildings, it 
waa easy to concludi! that they must not be allowed to 
fall into the enemy's hands, as, once lost, the defence of 
Home would be difficult or impossible. During the 
night preceding the 30th, besides the scouts sent along 
the two roads leading to the gates guarded by us, two 
small detachments had orders to ambuscade themselves 
by the aide of the road, at such a distance as to be able 
to pick up at least a few of the enemy's scouts. 

At break of dny I had a French cavalry-soldier on 
his knees before me, asking for liia life. However 
insignificant this acquisition of a prisoner might be, I 
confess that it rejoiced me ; and I drew from it a happy 
augury for the day. It waa France on her knees, 
making the amende honorable for the disgraceful and 
unworthy conduct of her rulers. 

This prisoner was captured by the detachment under 
young Ricchieri, of Nice, with great courage and cool- 
ness. A squadron of French scouts was put to flight 
by our own, and the fugitives, though superior in 
numbers, even abandoned some of their weapons. 

When one knows of tiie appi-oach of an enemy, it is 
always a good thing to place some ambuscades on tlie 
roads he will have to pass over. Two advantnges are 
in this case almost certain — that of knowing how far the 


head of the enemy's column has advanced, and that of 
uiakm<; some prisoners, 

Meanwhile, from the highest points in Rome, the 
hostile army was seen advancing slowly and with pre- 
cautioa, marching in colnran along the road from 
Civita Vecchia to Porta Cavalleggieri. Having come 
within cannon-shot, they placed some of their artillery 
in commanding positions, and deployed several corps, 
which resolutely marched up to attack the walls. 

The French general's mode of attack showed an utter 
acorn of U3 ; it was a case of Don Qiuxote and the 
windmills. He attacked us juat as if we had had no 
ramparts, or as if our walls had lieen garrisoTicd with 
children. In truth. General Oudinot, the sou of a 
marshal of the First Empire, had not thought it 
necessary, in order to crush " four l/iii/ands d'ltalitm," 
to provide himself with a map of Rome. 

He soon perceived that we were men defending our 
city against hirelings who were repuhlicana in name 
only, Those gallant sons of Italy, after having calmly 
allowed the enemy to approacli, poured into them a 
volley of cannon and mu-sket-shots, which killed a great 
many of the most advanced. 

From the height of Quattro Venti, I had seen the 
nttuck of the enemy, and the reception he met with 
from our men at Porta Cavalleggieri and the wall on 
either side. An attack on the enemy's rigiit flank 
seemed to me a thing not to be despised ; and I pushed 
forward two companies, who threw tl»e French into 
groat confusion. Being, however, greatly outnumhered 


by the enemy, they were obliged to fall back on theii- 
baae of operations — that is, on the small houses outside 
the walls in that part of Kome. 

In the first encounter, we had to deplore the loss of 
the gallant Captain Montaldi. Any one who knew 
GoEfredo Mameli and Captain De Cristoforis can form 
an idea of Montaldi ; he resembled them physicjilly and 
morally. Montaldi in a battle, at the Lead of his men, 
was as cool and calm as when on the parade-ground, or 
conversing with a gnmp of his friends. He had not, 
perhaps, as much education as the two brave champions 
of Italian liberty mentioned above, but the same intre- 
pidity, the same courage, and the same genius. What 
a general he would have made ! Italy has not lost the 
pattern of such men as he, and to such she ought U.i 
entrust her sons in the day of judgment for the tyrants, 
when all stains of outrage are to be washe<l away. 

Montaldi had joined the Italian legion at Monte- 
video when it was first raised, and, though then very 
young, took part with his usual courage in innumerable 
engagements ; and his was one of the earliest names 
entered on the roll of those about to cross the sea 
from Montevideo to serve their countr)''a cause. 
Genoa may with pride carve Luigi Montaldi's name 
beside that of her warrior-poet, Goffredo Mameli. 

The French, reaching our positions in the suburban 
houses, were received with a cross-fire from our posts, 
and hailed, sheltering themselves behind the inequali- 
ties of the ground and the walls of the numerous villas 
in the neighbourhood, and firing thence as fast as they 

could load. In this way the figlit lasted for 8onie time ; 
but when we received reinforcements from within, we 
charged the enemy with so much vigour that they 
gradually lost ground, and were at last driven into a 
' precipitate retreat, while the cannon from the walls 
and a sally from Porta Cavalleggieri comjdeted the vic- 
tory. The French had a few men killed, and retired 
in confusion, leaving in our hands several hundred 
prisoners, and never stopping till they reached Castel 

The principal honour of the day is due to the gallant 
General Avezzana, who had organized the defence. He 
abowed himself indefatigable during the fight, wherever 
it raged most fiercely, and cheered on our young soldiers 
»Hth his voice and his manly presence. General Bar- 
tolonimeo Gatletli, with his Roman logion, accompanied 
us during the action, and contributed greatly to tlie 
victory. So also Genera! Arcioni, witli the corps under 
Ills command, who, though he arrived late, had a hand 
in the enemy's discomfiture, and also made a large 
Dumt>er of prisoners. 

A battalion of young students at the university, and 
other fractional corps associated with the legion during 
the battle, also behaved exceedingly well. A Prussian 
colonel, Haug — the same who was general with us in 
1806 — served under me as ataff-ofEcer, through the 
whole action, with great courage and coolness. 

Marrocchetti, Ramorino, Franclii, Coccelli, Brusco 
(Minuto), Penilta, and all my Montevideo comrades, 
maintained theii just reputation for bravery. Hasina, 


Daverio, Niuo Bonnet, and other gallant fellows whoso 
names I wish I could rememher, also behaved 

Thia first engagement with regular troops greatly 
raised the morale of our legion, as they subsequently 

The day following tlie attack, I bad orders to recon- 
noitre the enemy, and marched with the legion and 
a small number of cavalry towards Castel Guide, where 
we remained part of the day in sight of them. Towards 
itftemoon, a French aui^eon camo to open a parley, and 
r sent him to the Government. General Oudinot, 
fueling himself too weak to attack Rome, was trying 
to temporize by means of negotiations, while waiting 
for reinforcements from France. We could easily have 
taken advantage of Ids weakness and his fears to drive 
him back into the sea ; we might have settled accounts 

In May took place the two affairs at Palestrina and 
VeUetri, in both of wliich the legion covered itself with 
glory. Arrived at I'alestrina, tlie Neapolitan troops of 
the Bourlwn, who some time before had invaded the 
Roman territory in conjunction with French, Austriana, 
and Spaniards, attacked us, and were completely 
repulsed. Among those who distinguished themselves 
then were Manara with his gallant Bersaglieri, 
Zaml>ianclii, Marroechetti, Masina, Eixio, Daverio, 
fiacchi, Coccelli, and others. At VeUetri, where 
Itoaselli, the general-in- chief, was in commniid, the 
fighting was the more serious that the King of Naples 


was present in person with the whole force of his army, 
while we had in all about 8000 men. Leaving Rome 
in order to get into the rear of the Neapolitan armj-, 
we followed the Zagarolo road as far as Monte Fortino. 
I bad been selected by General Rosselli to command 
the main body ; but, as Colonel Marrocchetti was in the 
van with the Italian legion, specially attached to me 
from its first formation, and principally composed of 
my old comrades, I marched with the vanguard, picking 
up information as to the enemy's movements from the 
inhabitants, and sending it to hoad-iiuarters. 

I inferred, from the answers to my careful inquiries 
that the enemy were retreating, and soon found this 
impression to be correct. Having arrived with the 
van at the heights which overlook Velletii, in the 
direction of Mont« Fortino. I halted my troops, and, 
after reconnoitring, made them deploy to right and left 
of the road to Vetletri. The third line regiment, wliich 
also belonged to ttie vanguard, remained in part on 
the road, as a reserve column, while some companies 
were Echeloned in the vineyards which commanded it 
un either side, the road being formed by a cutting. 

Two guns placed in a commanding position behind 
the third regiment covered the road, and Masina's 
cavalry were partly sent on as acouta, partly kept in 
reserve. Tlie enemy had sent on the baggage and 
heavy artillery towards Naples, by the Via Appia; 
hut, still having the greater part of liis forces at 
Velletri, and being informed of the small numbers 
opposed to him, wished at least to attempt a recoii' 


naisaance. He therefore advanced a colunm along tlie 
road in our direction, assisted and supported by strong 
lines of sIiarpBhootera on his flanks, in tlie vineyards ; 
and attacked our outpoats with great fury, driving theui 
hack on our main body. 

Part of tlie vanguard of the Neapolitan cavalry had 
charged a few of our horse, who were out along the 
road as scouts ; and, to support the latter, I had the 
enemy's cavalry charged by our small reserve of horse, 
who gallantly beat them oH". But when the reserve 
reached the top of a rise in the road, they met the van 
of the principal column marching towards us, and 
naturally retreated, charged a second time by the 
Bourbon cavalry. Our horses, mostly young and 
untrained, rushed back at full gallop ; and as this 
seemed to me scarcely decent in the presence of so 
many friends and enemies, 1 was imprudent enough to 
throw my horse across the path to check their flight, 
which was also done by some of my staff, and my 
brave black assistant. Andrea Aguiar. In an instant 
the spot where I stood was a heap of prostrate men and 
liorsea Unable to hold in their horses, our cavaJry 
had rushed upon ua with such fuiy that they knocked 
ua over and fell themselves, thus forming a shapeless 
heap in the narrow cutting, which was so blocked up 
that not a single foot-soldier could have passed. The 
enemy's horsemen rode up to sabre ua, Ijut we were 
saved by the confusion ; and immediately after, our 
legionaries drawn up in the vineyards on either side of 
the road, at the word of their ofQcers, energetically 


charged the Neapolitans, drove them back, and relieved 
ua from a distressing embarrassineut. A company of 
young lads on my right, seeing that I had fallen, 
rushed like furiea on the enemy ; and I believe 
that my safety was cliiefly due to those gallant boys, 
since, with men and horses passing over my body, I 
was so bruised ihat I could not move. I rose at last, 
with great difficulty, and felt all my limbs to see if 
there was anything broken. The charge of our men 
.on the right — the dominant position, and therefore the 
key of tlie whole — led by Masina and Daverio, was 
made with such headlong impetus that our men almost 
entered Velletri, swept away among the flying enemy. 

• Having got somewhat nearer to the city, I was 
able to assure myself still further that the enemy's 
arrangements were all with a view to retreat. Besides 
the information I had received as to the march of the 
baggage and heavy artillery, I could clearly see the 
Neapolitan cavalry, arranged en ^chthn, on the other 
aide of Velletri, parallel to the Via Appia — that is, on 
the road by which they were to retreat. 

Meanwhile I sent a full repoit tu the commauder-in- 
chief, but, unhappily, our main body was detained in 
the rear, near Zagarolo, waiting for the provisions, which 
were long in coming from Rome. I, on the other hand, 
had rationed my men as we went along, by killing 
some of the cattle which we found in abundance in the 
rich estates close at hand, belonging to cardinals." 

* I mean to write calmly about Mnzzini, but I will not lie t« 
my own conscieucej and when I say Mamiii, I mean the BomBn 


At last the commander-in-chief and the heads of our 
columns arrived, about 4 p.m. — the battle had been 
fought during the forenoon. 

I was a long time trying to convince Geaeral Rosselii 
of the enemy's retreat, but in vain ; and, notwithstand- 
ing my representations, he ordered a feigned attack 
immediately on his arrival, and afterwards made the 
troops take up a position suitable for an attack on the 
following morning. But the enemy did not find that 
it suited him to await our convenience, and evacuated 
Velletri in the night, making the soldiers march bai'e- 
foot, and bandaging the wheels of the cannon, so as to 
retire more silently. At dawn we knew that the town 
was clear of the Neapolitans, who could be seen, from 
its highest points, swiftly retreating along the Via 
Appta, toward Terracina and Naples. 

From Velletri, our main army, with the commander- 
in-chief, retired to Eome, while I had orders from the 
latter to invade the state of Naples, by way of Anagni, 
Frosinone, Ceprano, and Rocca d'Arce, where I arrived 
with Manara's Bersaglieri, who formed the vanguard. 

QovemmeDt, eince he waa virtually Dictator of Bome — a title of 
whicb, though he would not asHunie tho reBpousibihty, it is well 
biowa thai he had the power — knowing tlie modest and pliant 
character of the triumvirs, Suffi and Armellini. The Dictator 
Mazzini, tUeo, who took umhrage at the position of Avczzana and 
myiielf, sent the former to Ancona, while I waa loft to defend 
Porta Sau Pancrazio, and Colonel Rosselii was appointed com- 
mauder-iD-chief— a nan who, 1 believe, would have done his duty 
excellently well at the head of hia regiment, but who had not 
aufficient experience to take the enpreme command of the republican 



The Masi regiment, the Italiun legion, and a few 
cavalry followed our movements. The gallant Colonel 
Mauara, in the van with hia Bersaglieri, was in pursuit 
of a Neapolitan corps under General Viale, who did 
not stop for a single moment to see who was pnraubig 
thero. At Rocca d'Arce we were met by several depu- 
tations from the neighbouring villages, who came to 
greet us as their deliverers, and request our entrance 
into the kingdom, where they assured us of general 
sympathy and adhesion. 

There are critical moments in the life of nations as 
well as of individuals, and this was a solemn and 
decisive occasion — one, indeed, that retiuired positivi; 
genius to meet it, 

I had my own opinion, nnd was preparing to march 
on San Germano, which we could have I'eaclied with 
little trouble and no opposition. We were in the heart 
of the Bourbon states, on the slopes of the Abruzai, 
whose stalwart mountaineers were ipiite ready to pro- 
nounce for us. The good-will of the population ; the 
demoralized state of the Neapolitan army, which bad 
been lieateii in two engagements, and which 1 knew to 
be on the point of dissolution, as the soldiers were 
anxious to return to their homes; tlie ardour of my 
young soldiers, victorious in all battles so fur.nnd there- 
fore ready to light like lions without inquiring the 
number of the enemy ; the still uuconqnered state of 
Sicily, encouraged by the defeats inflicted on her op- 
pressors; — all these considerations inclined me to think 
our success exceedingly probable, if we cmly pushed ou 


12 AUTOBioaEAPnr of oivsefpe qabibalvi. 

boldly. And yet, in spite of all this, an order of the 
Government recalled me to Eonie, which was again 
threatened by the French ! To palliate such an act of 
untimely weakness, sucli a fatal error, they left me the 
ciioice of marching along the Abruzzi or not, aa I 
liked, on my return route. 

If this man — who had called on me to repass the 
Ticino, in 1848, after the capitulation of Milan, and not 
only kept my volunteers back in Switzerland, but got 
them to desert from me, even after the victory of 
Luiuo, sending Medici to tell me that he and his 
would have doue better ; who, yielding to my own 
opinion, had let me march to Falestrina and succeed 
tliere, but afterwards, I know not for what motive, 
Bent me to Velletri, under General Eosaelli's orders; 
— if Mazzini, in short, who liad the casting vote in the 
Triumvirate, bad Iteen willing to understand that I 
might possibly know something about war as well as 
he — he would have been able to leave Rosselli at Rome, 
entrust the second enterprise, as he had done the first, 
to me alone, and let me invade the kingdom of Naples 
(whose defeated army was disordered beyond recovery, 
while the populace were awaiting us with open arms). 
If, I say, he had acted thus, how diflerently would 
things have turned out ! \Vliat a future just then 
presented itself before an Italy not yet disheartened 
by foreign invasion ! 

Instead of this, be summons all the troops of the 
state from the Bourbon frontier to Bologna, and then 
reconceutrates them at Rome, tlius allowing the tyraut 



of the Seine — who, if his 40,000 men had not been 
tmough, would have sent 100,000 — to annihilate ua at a 
single blow. 

Any one who knows Rome and its eighteen miles' 
circuit of walls, is well aware of the impossibility of 
<lefending it with & small force against an army which, 
like that of the French in 1849, is superior in numbers 
and in every kind of munition of war. 

It ia tlierefore obvious that the whole force of the 
Roiaan army ought not t« have been employed in tlie 
defeuce of the capital, but the greater part should have 
occupied the impregnable positions with which the 
temtory abounds, and the whole population have been 
called to arms ; while I should have been permitted to 
(wntinne my victorious march into the heart of the 
Neapolitan kingdom ; and, finally, after having sent out 
as many means of defence as possible, the Government 
itself should have left Rome, and eatablisiied itself in 
some central and defensible situation. 

It is true that at the same time some measures ought 
to have been taken to secure the public safety against 
the machinations of the clerical element. Tliis was not 
done, and the priests were left, with an ill-judged tolera- 
tion, to plot and intrigue, and, in the end, contribute to 
the fall of the Republic and the misfortunes of Italy. 

Wlio knows what roaidts might have followed the 
salutary measures detailed above ? Our fall — if we 
were destined to fall in any case — would at least have 
taken place afUsr we had done our very utmost, and 
certainly not till after that of Hungary and Venice. 



On arriving at Home after my return from Eocca 
d'Arce, and seeing the way in which the national cause 
■was lieiny managed, I claimed the dictatorship — as 
sometimes during my previous life I had demanded 
and seizud the helm of a vessel which was being driven 
on the breakers. Mazzini and his partisans were 8ca;i- 
dalized. However, a few days after, on June 3, when 
the enemy, who bad deluded them, had made himself 
master of the positions commanding the city, which 
we vainly attempted to retake at the cost of many 
precious Uvea, — then, I aay, the head of the Triumvirate 
wrote to me. offering me the post of commander-in-chief. 
Being employed in the post of lionour, I tiiouglit it as 
well to thank him, and go on with the bloody work of 
those ill-omened days. Oudinot, having received all 
the reinforcements he needed, thanks to the negotia- 
tions with which lie had lulled U) sleep tlie suspicions 
of the Republican Government, prepared for action, 
uunouocing that he would recommence hostilities on 
June 4, and the Government tnisted to the word of the 
faithless soldier of Bonaparte. 

From April to June, as long aa the danger lasted, not 
a single defensive work had been thought of — not even 
on those important and (.■onimanding positions outsidn 
the walls which form the key to Kome. I remember that 
on April 30, after the victory, General Avezzana and 
I, in a conference at the Quattro Venti, had determine)] 
to fortify tliis eminence and some other lateral positionM 
of almost equal importance. But Avezzana was sent to 
Ancona, and I was occupied with other business. There 

TBE hefence of some. 

were a few men ou outpost duty outside Porta San 
Pancrazio and Porta Cavalleggieri, the enemy being on 
that side, in the du-ection of Caatel Guido and Civita 
Vecchia. I returned from Velletri, I confess, grieved to 
the heart at the ruinous couraa taken by my country's 
affairs. The legion then occupied San Silveatro, and no 
one seemed to think of anything but letting the soldiers 
rest after the toils of the campaign. 

Oudinot, who Imd given us warning for June 4, found 
it better to take us by surprise in the night between the 
2nd and 3rd. In the early hours of the morning, we 
were awakened by the sound of firing near Porta San 
Pancrazio. Tlie alarm was sounded, and the legionaries, 
though worn out with fatigue, were under anna in a 
moment, and marching towards the spot where we heard 
the fighting going on. Oiir men who garrisoned thu 
posts outside the walls had been surprised in n 
cowardly way, massatTed or made prisoners, and tin.- 
enemy was already in possession of Quattro Venti and 
other important points when, in all haste, we reached 
Porta San Pancrazio. In the hope that it was not yet 
occupied by a great number, I ordered an attack on the 
Casino of Quattro Venti, feeling that on our posses- 
sion of this point depended the safety of Itome. It was 
attacked, I do not say bravely, but heroically ; first by 
the Italian legion, then by Manara's Beraaglien, and 
lastly by several other corps in succession, supporteti 
by the artillery from the walls, till niglit had fallen, 

Tlie enemy, knowing the importance of the position I 
have mentioned, had occupied it with a strong body of 


their beat troops; and we vainly attempted to regain 
possession by attacking it repeatedly with our bravest 

The Italians, leil by the gallant Masina, actually 
entered the building, and there fought the French man 
to man, several times even driving back the hardy 
soldiers of Africa. A tremendoua struggle at close 
quarters began; but the enemy was too far superior in 
numbers, and several fresh reinforcements arriving in 
succession rendered our men's heroic efforts useless. 

I sent Mauara's corps, which had shared our glory in 
all previous battles, and, though small, was of perfect 
bravery and the beat disciplined one in Rome, to the 
assistance of the Italian legion. The struggle lasted for 
a time within the walls of the building, but at last, 
overpowered by the still-increasing numbers of the 
enemy, our men were forced to retreat. 

This action of June 3, 1849— one of the most glorious 
for the Italian arms — lasted from Jawn till night. 
Various attempts were made to retake the Ca-sino dei 
Quattro VentJ, but all resulted in a terrible loss of life. 
In the evening, after dark, I liad the assault tried once 
more by some fresh companies of the Unione regiment, 
supported by others. They marched up to the Casino 
with great daring, and then engaged in a fearful struggle, 
but were too hard pressed by the enemy, and, after 
losing their commander and a great number of the men, 
were obliged to draw back. Masina, Daverio. Peralta, 
Mameli, Dandolo, Kamorino, Moroaiiii, Panizzi, Davide, 
Melara, Minuto — what names ! — and many other heroes 


whom I caanot recall by name, on that day fell victims 
to the priests, and to the soldiers of a fratricide Kepublic. 

Rome, freed from the unholy arts of these plunderers, 
will one day build a monument to those noble sons of 
Italy, on the ruins of the mausoleum erected by the 
priests to the foreign robber and murderer. 

The original Italian legion, consisting of barely lOOO 
men, lost twenty-three officers, nearly all killed. Ma- 
nara's corps, and the Unione regiment, widcb bad fought 
with equal valour, also suffered heavy losses; not to 
mention the officers of other corps, whom I do not 

The 3rd of June decided the fate of Rome. The 
best officers bad been killed or wounded; the French 
remained masters of the key to all the dominant 
positions, nnd, witli their great strength in nimibers 
and artillery, had firmly established themselves there. 
In the lateral positions carried by surprise and treachery 
they began regular siege-works, as though thej' liad to 
deal with a fortress of the first order, which proves that 
they had met with Italians who did tight. 

I will pass ovdT the siege-works, parallels, breaches, 
bombardment with mortars, et«. All this, I think, has 
been related in detail by many others ; and I should 
not be able to do it with great accuracy, Ijeing at the 
mometit without the necessary data and documents. 
What I can assert, however^ is that from April to July 
oar raw levies fouglit creditably enough against a veteran 
•rmy, far superior in numbers, better organized, and 
poasesAed of immense resources, At each position the 

Toil. II. 


((round wag diaputed foot by foot, and there is not a 
single example of flight before m formidable an enemy, 
or of a battle in which they yielded to force of numbers 
without Homeric fighting. 

As I said above, the corps were robbed of the beat 
officers and men. In tlie corps of the line, those 
which had formerly constituted the papal army, some 
who had behaved well at first, now, seeing tlie hazardous 
position of affairs, presented that inactive and ill- 
humoured aspect which precedes disaffection or treason. 
This tliey showed in a .feauitical fashion, quite in 
accordance with their clerical training, by refusing to 
perform the services demanded of them. 

Some of the superior officers in particular, who lived 
in hopes of a papal restoration, and whom the Kepubli- 
can Government bad teen either unable or unwilling 
to get rid of, not only refused to obey orders, but 
attempted to atir up disaffection among all ranks of 
their subordinates — a course of conduct which caused 
endless annoyance to the good and gallant Manara, my 
chief of staff, and was at the same time an undoubted 
presage of our ruin. 

We tried a night^aortie, but a panic among the front 
ranks, which spread to the whole column, completely 
nullified the enterprise. We had no longer sufficient 
forces to garrison all the posts outside the walls, and 
tlierefore had to abandon some of them. Villa Vascello 
alone was held to the eud by Medici and his men ; and 
when at loat it was evacuated, nothing reumiued of the 
spacious building but a heap of ruins. 


The situation grew more difficult every <lay. Our 
brave Manara fumid it leas and leas easy to find men 
for outpost and line duty, indispensable as tiiia was for 
the public safety. The weakness of this part of the 
defence was certainly a potent cause of the easy 
entrance effected by the mercenaries of Bonaparta 
thniuyh the breaches their cannon had already made. 

If ilazzini {and the blame rests on no one else) had 
had as much practical capacity as fertility of imagina- 
tion in planning movements and enterprises, and if he 
had possessed — what he always^ claimed to have — the 
genius for directing warlike affairs ; if. moreover, he had 
been willing to listen to some of his friends, who, from 
their antecedents, might he supposed to know something ; 
— lie would have made fewer mistakes, and, in the crisis 
I am describing, might, if he could not have saved Italj', 
at least have indefinitely retarded the Roman catas* 
trophe ; and, I repeat, have left Rome the honour of 
having been the last to full, instead of succumbing 
sooner than Venice and Hungary. 

I hail sent Manara — the very day before his glorious 
rleatli — to Mazzini, with a message suggesting that we 
should leave Rome, and march with all available men 
and supplies, of which we possessed a considerable 
amount, to some stronghold in the Apennines. To 
tlii» day I do not know why it was not done. History 
does not lack precedents. Of one such salutary resolU' 
lion I myself witnessed an instance in the Republic of 
Rio Grande. The United States furnish another, also 
of comparatively recent date. It Is Qot true that such 


a measure was imposailile, for when I left Rome a few 
days later, with about four tliouaarid men, I met with 
no ohstacles. The representatives of the people, mostly 
yoitug and energetic patriots, much beloved in their 
native districts, niiglit have been sent thither to kindle 
the enthusiasm of the populace, and so tcuipt fortune- 
once more. 

Instead of this, it was said that defence was becoming 
impossible, and the representatives remained at their 
posts — a courageous resolve, honourable to them as 
indiWduals, but not greatly tending to promote either 
the glory or the interests of their country. Nor were 
they to be praised for adopting it, while our resources 
were yet abundant, and Hungarj' and Venice were still 
in arms against the enemies of Italy. 

Meanwhile we were awaiting the entrance of the 
French, to hand over to them the arms by whose means 
a painful and shameful period of slavery was to be 
prolonged. I myself, having a handful of comrades 
that I could count on, was resolved not to surrender. 
but take to the country and try our fate again. 

Mr. Casa. the American ambassador, knowing how 
matters stood, sent to me on July 3, saying he wished 
to speak with me. I started for his house, but met 
him before reaching it ; when he told me, with great 
kindness, that an American corvette at Civita Vecchia 
was at my disposal, if I wished to embark, with any of 
my friends who might be compromised. I thanked the 
generous representative of the great republic, but stated 
that I intended to leave Home with all who might 


be willing to follow me, as I would not believe that 
my country's cause was lost, without striking one more 
blow to retrieve it. I then turned towards Porta San 
Giovanni, where I was to meet my followers, who had 
orders to prepare for leaving the city. On reaching the 
square, I found most of them awaiting me ; the rest 
were gradually arriving. Many men belonging to 
other corps, who had guessed or been informed of our 
project, also came to join us, rather than submit to the 
degradation of laying down their arms before the priest- 
ridden soldiers of Bonaparte. 



My dear Anita, in spite of my entreaties that she would 
remain behind, had resolved on accompanying me. In 
A'ain I reminded her that she was again about to become 
a mother, and that I should be exposed to a life of tre- 
mendous hardships, privations, and dangers, surrounded 
by enemies on every side; this consideration seemed 
only to confirm her resolution. At the first house we 
came to, having asked a woman to cut off her hair, she 
put on men's clothes, and mounted a horse. . 

After having made sure, by observations from the 
top of the ramparts, that none of the enemy's troops 
were visible on our route, I gave orders to march along 
the Tivoli road, ready to fight in case any attempt should 
be made to obstruct our progress. The march took 
place without opposition, and on the morning of July 3 
we reached Tivoli, where I intended as far as possible 
to organize the miscellaneous elements which formed 
my small brigade. 

Up to this time, things did not look quite desperate. 
The majority of my best officers were missing, dead or 
wounded — Masina, Daverio, Manara, Mameli, Bixio, 
Teralta, Montaldi, Eamorino, and so many others. But 

liETSEA T. 2.S 

some Btill remained — Marrocchetti, Sacchi, Cenni, 
Coccelli, Isnardi; and had it not been for a genei'al 
depression of spirits, on tlie part of both soldiers and 
civilians, I could have carried on a glorious war for 
Bome time longer, and given the Italian nation — once 
recovered from their surprise and dejection — an oppor- 
tunity of shaking off the yoke of foreign plunderers. 
But, alas ! thb was not to be. 

I soon perceived that there was no inclination to 
continue the glorioiw enterprise placed before ns by 
fat«. When I marched northward from Tivoli, to throw 
myself into the midst of an enei^etic population, and 
kindle the flames of their patriotism, not only was it 
impossible for me to enlist one man, but night aft«r 
night, as if they had felt the need of committing the 
shameful act under cover of darkueas, some of those 
who had followed me from Rojue deserted. 

In my own heart I often recalled the steadfast 
endurance and self-abnegation of those Americans among 
whom I liad lived, who, deprived of every comfort of 
life, content with any kind of food, and often witli 
none at all, kept up a war of extermination for many 
years in deserts and forests, ratlier than bow tlie knee 
to « tyrant or a foreign invader. When I compared 
those brave sons uf Columbus with my unwarlike and 
effeminate eountry'men. I was ashamed to belong to 
these degenerate descendants of the greatest of nations, 
who were incapable of keeping the field a month with- 
out their three meaJs a day. 

At Xerui we were joined by the gallant Colonel 


Forbes, an Englishman, who loved tlie Italian cause as 
well as the beat of ns could have done. He was a most 
brave and honest soldier, and brought with him several 
hundred well-drilled men. 

From Temi we proceeded northward, twice crossing 
the Apennines, but none of the inhabitants responded 
to our appeals. The muskets abandoned in these 
wholesale desertions were carried with us on mule- 
back; but their excessive number and the difficulty of 
transport at last forced us to leave them, with the 
ammunition, at the disposal of those inhabitants who 
were thought most trustworthy, that they might keep 
them hidden against the day when they should be 
weary of disgrace and defeat. 

Though our situation was not a prosperous one, yet 
we might well congratulate ourselves on having, in 
(juitting the neighbourhood of Rome, distanced the 
French corps which had vainly followed us for a time ; 
and also escaped the Austrian, Spanish, and Neapolitan 
troops among whom we had afterwards found ourselves 

The Austrians were seeking us everywhere — aware, 
no doubt, of our far from nourishing condition, desirous 
of increasing the glory so cheaply acquired in the north, 
and also jealous of the French successes. They knew 
perfectly well from their numerous spies {priests, 
indefatigable traitors to the land which, to her sorrow, 
still tolerates them) that our column was melting away 
day by day. Besides, the priests, being absolute 
masters of the peasantry, and all residents in the 



district (one peculiarly adapted for night-marchea), 
kept our enemiea minutely informed of all our affairs — 
of the positions we occupied, and every movement we 
undertook. I, on the other hanil, could hear little 
ahout the enemy, as the friendly part of the population 
were thorouylily demoralized, and afraid of compromising 
themselves, so that, even for money, it was impossible 
to obtain guides. 

Ciuided, then, by experts (1 have seen the priesta them- 
aelves, crucifix in hand, leading our country's enemies 
against us), the Austrians always found ua at a certain 
hour of the day, all our movements being undertaken 
at night ; but they usually fuund us in strong positions. 
where they durst not attack us. This kind of thing 
though very wearisome, and a fruitful source of desertion, 
continued for some time, our little column sustaining 
neither attack nor defeat. This proves how much we 
might have done in our country's service had the priests 
—and consequently the peasants — instead of being, as 
they always were, hostile to the national cause, been 
favourable to it, and used their influence against foreign 

We kept at bay such bodies of troops as the Austrians 
— who were then fresh from the vtctoi-y of Novara, and 
had recmiquered all the northern part of the Peninsula 
by more mardiing — without their daring to attack us, 
though they were far more numerous than ourselves. 

Our fellow-citiisens should indulge in no illusions 
with regard to the country population. As long as 
they are under the domination of the clergy, supported 



by an immoral government, both peasants and priest^i 
will always l» ready to betray the national cause. 
The Italian Government, which is in fault — being more 
positive than any doctrinaire — feels the unstable con- 
dition of the country, and, rather than trust to the 
masses (which it robs and misgoverns, but which might, 
if properly treated, furnish it with a superabundance of 
men and means to oppose any hostile power whatever), 
humbles itself to seek outside alliances, which ai'e 
never disinterested. 

Between the depressed state of the towns, as I have 
said, and the hostile condition of the priest-ridden 
country districts, our condition became exceedingly 
precarious, and we soon began to feel the effects of the 
reaction taking place in all the Itahan provinces. 

Dui-ing the night I was obliged to change my posi- 
tion, as it was only to be expected that, if I remained 
more than one day in the same place, the enemy, 
possessed of exact inforuiation, would at once over- 
whelm us with their numbers ; so that my movements 
became atill more difBcult than before. I could not 
obtain a single guide in Italy, while the Austrians had 
as many as they wanted ! I leave this fact to the 
consideration of those Italians who continue to go to 
mass, and to confess themselves to those hlack-robed 

In consequence, few incidents of importance took place 
till we reached San Marino, save a few unimportant 
skirmishes with the Austrians. 

Two of our horsemen, sent out as scoutSj were made 



prisoners by the Bishop of Chitiai's peasants — a bisliop. 
be it understood ; and, if I am not mistftken, Chiusi 
has still a bishop at the present day (1872). I 
demandal my men — whom I certainly thought in 
clanger, in the clutch of Torqiiemada's descendants — 
and they were refused me. I thtn. by way of reprisals, 
mode a whole convent of monks march at the head of 
my troops, threatening to have them shot; but the 
archbishop was hard-hearted enough to give me to 
understand that there was plenty of raw material for 
monks left in Italy, and declined to restore the 
prisoners. I tliink, moreover, he was quite desirous 
of the massacre of his subordinates, intending to hold 
them up to the populace as holy martyrs ; and, suspect- 
ing this, I let the monks go. 

The most trying part, to me, of this retreat were the 
continued desertions, especially those of the officers. 
Even some of my old comrades were guilty of this 
baseness. Bands of deserters spread uncontrolled over 
the country, committing every species of violence. They 
were Garibaldi's soldiers! Being cowardly enough to 
abandon the sacred cause of their country, it was quite 
natural that they should descend to foul and cruel acts 
against the inhabitants. Tliis distressed me more than 
anything else, and greatly heightened the misery and 
humiliation of our position. How could I follow up 
those lawless bands of nifiians, surrounded as I was 
by enemies I A few, caught in the act, were shot, but 
this was little use, as long as the greater number went 


Tlie aituation having become desperate, I tried to 
reach San Marino. The excellent republicans of thia 
city, hearing of my approach, sent a deputation to meet 
me. While I was engaged in conference with them, an 
Austrian corps overtook our rearguard, and threw it into 
such confusion that all — or, at least, the majority- — took 
to fliglit, almost without seeing the enemy. Warned 
of thia disaster, I returned to find the men flying, and 
my brave Anita, with Colonel Forbes, making every 
effort to atop them. Incapable of fear herself, her face 
expressed the bitterest scorn, and she could not control 
het disgust at such an exliibition of terror in men who, 
a short time before, had been fighting bravely. 

Here I must mention a amall cannon, which a few 
of our brave Roman gunners, wlio had so greatly dis- 
tinguished themaelvea in the siege, had brought along 
with them siuce the beginning of our retreat. With 
matchless patieuce and peraeverance, without horaes or 
appliances, they had dragged it along, with the greatest 
labour, over the rugged mountain-patha. On this day 
of flight, being deserted by the others, they for a time 
defended it alone; and only abandoned it after a 
desperate fight, resulting in the loss of some of their 

These Austriana, accustomed to frighten Italians, 
also made use of those famous aquibs — their favourite 
weapon — which they flung at us in marvellous pro- 
fusion, and by which I have never yet seen a man 
injured. I hope my young countrymen will be able 
to treat these toya with the contempt they deserve, on 

nSTBEAT. 29 

the day — perhaps not so far distant, after all — when we 
shall teach those masters of the Tyrol that the air south 
of the Alps is fatal to them. 

Arrived at San Marino, I wrote, standing on the 
steps of a church outside the city, th« order for the 
day, which was expressed somewhat in the following 
terms : — " Soldiers, I release you from the obligation of 
accompanying me. Return to your homes ; but remem- 
ber that Italy must not be left in slavery and shame ! " 

The Austrian Government had communicated with 
that of the San Marino Republic, oEfering to make terms 
with us, on conditions we could not possibly accept. 
This occasioned a favourable reaction in the feelings of 
the soldiers, who resolved to fight to the last, rather 
than stoop to terms so ignominious. 

Our agreement with the Government of tlie Republic 
was to the effect that we should lay down our arms 
within that neutral territory, and that then all should 
bo freely allowed to return to their homes. Such was 
the treaty concludeil with tliis Government ; we would 
make no terms with the enemies of Italy. 

For my part, I had no idea of laying down my arms. 
With a handful of comrades, I knew that it was not 
impoBsilile to cut our way through to Venice. A dear 
but painful hindrance was my Anita, now near her 
confinement, and very ill. I entreated her to remain 
in that city of refuge, where we were justified in thinking 
Uiat she at least might find a secure asylum, and where 
the inliabitants had shown us much kindness. In 
rain ; that resolute and noble heart, indignant at all my 


reiaonat ranees on this subject, silenced me at Inat with 
the words, " You want to leave me ! " 

I determined to leave Sau Marino about midnight, 
and try to reach some Adriatic port, where we might 
embark for Venice. 

As many of my companions were resolved to risk all 
for the sake of following me, eaiHscially some gallant 
Lombards and Venetians who had deaertttl from the 
Austrians, I left the town with a few men, awaiting 
the rest at a spot previously agreed upon. This 
arrangement caused some delay, and I was obliged to 
wait some time before I had got them all together. 

During the day I wandere<l about the country, getting 
information as to the most accessible points on the 
coast. Fortune — in which I have never entirely lost 
faith — sent me a man who was of the greatest service 
in these difficult circumstances. Galopini, a courageous 
young man from Forli, drove up in a cart to find me, 
and proved invaluable as a guide and scout, hastening 
with lightning speed to any place where tlie Austrians 
were to be found, making inquiries of the inhabitants, 
and keeping our men informed of the latest news. The 
intelligence brought by him decided me to proceed by 
way of Ceaenatico. Galopini found some guides to 
take me thither, and we arrived about midnight. Tlie 
Austrian guard we found at the entrance to the village 
were thunderstruck by our sudden appearance, and I 
took advantage of the momentary hesitation on their 
part, to order the men riding next me to get down and 
disarm them. It was the work of an instant; we 

entered the village and remained in sole possession, 
arresting a few gendarmes, who certainly had not 
expected us that night. One of our first steps was to 
requisition from the municipal authorities a sufficient 
number of boats for the transport of the men. Fortune, 
however, had ceased to favour us that night. There 
had been a violent squall from the sea, and the breakers 
were so lieavy in the mouth of the bay, that it was 
almost impossible for vessels to put out. 

Here I found the advantage of my seamanship. It 
was absolutely necessary that we should leave the port ; 
day was at iiand, so were ihe Auatriaus, and no retreat 
was open to us except by sea. 

I went on board each of the hnujozzi (fishing-boats), 
had a Iiawser fastened to two kedge-ancbors lashed 
together, and tried to get out of the harbour in a 
small boat, in order to drop the anchors and wai-p the 
boats out. Our first attempts were fruitless. In vain 
we sprang into the sea, to push the boat by force of 
arm through Uie breakers ; in vain we encouraged the 
rowers with cheering words and many promises. Only 
after repeated and laborious attempts did we succeed 
in carrying the anchors to the proper distance and 
sinking them. As, having let down the kedges, we 
returned to the harbour, gradimlly slackening the 
hawsers as we went, the last one, being thin and made 
of inferior hemp, parted and we had to do the whole 
of the work over again. Such mishaps were enough 
to drive a man crazy. At last I was obliged to return 
to the fishing-boats, and get fresh bawsera and &eeh 


kedgefl ; and all this with a sleepy and unwilling crew, 
who could be made to move at all — not to speak of 
doing the necessary work — only by means of blows 
with the flat of our swords. At last we tried once 
more, and this time succeeded in taking out the kedgea 
as far as was needful. 

My men embarked in thirteen fishing-boats.* Colonel 
Forbes was the last to go on board, having remained, aa 
long as our preparations lasted, at the land-entrance to 
the village, constructing barricades to repulse the enemy 
in case they should arrive. 

Ha\'ing, by kedging, got out all the fishing-boats one 
after the other, with all the men on board, we dis- 
tributed to each a shore of the rations requisitioned 
from the municipal authorities. Some verbal instruc- 
tions were then given to all, recommending them tti 
keep as close togetlier as possible, and we got under 
way for Venice. 

The day was already somewhat advanced when we 
left Cesenatico ; the weather had turned fine, and the 
wind was favourable. If I had not been so distressed 
by the situation of my Anita, who was in a deplorable 
state of suffering, I might have said that our condition — 
having overcome so many diffiLniltics, and being on the 
way to safety — could be called fortunate. But my dear 

" It will be Been that those willing to accompany me were Mill 
nutneroua — about two haiidred. They fared none the woree for 
doing BO. Many of those who remained behind fell itilo the haucls 
of the Austriana. and were flogged — not to mention thoae ihot. 
Let Italians remember this. 


wife's sufferings were too great ; ftml greater atUl was 
the misery caused by my own inability to relieve them. 

What with the stress of weather, and the difficulties 
encountered lu getting out of Cesenatico, I liad not been 
able to turn iny attention to the provisioning of the 
boats. I had entrusted it to an officer, who had col- 
lected all ho could ; but at night, in a strange village, 
where we had taken the inhabitants by surprise, he had 
procured but a small quantity of supplies, which were 
distributed among the diffurent boats. 

Tlie chief tiling wanting was water, ami my poor 
auflering wife was tormented by a feverish thirst — no 
doubt one of the symptoms of her illness. I too was 
thirsty, worn out as I was by the night's work ; and 
we had very -little drinking-water. All the rest of that 
day we coasted along the Italian side of the Adriatic, 
at a certain dtstani^e otf shore, with a favourable wind. 
The night, when it came, was moat beautjfid. The 
moon was full. and it was with a terrible misgiving that 
I watched the rising of the mariner's companion, con- 
templated by me so otten with the revei-ence of a 
worshipper. Lovelier than I had ever seen her before, 
but for US, unhappily, too lovely, — the moon was fatal 
to U8 that night. 

East of the jmint of Goro Iny the Austrian squadron, 
left intact, and in undisturbed jKJssession of the Adriatic, 
by the patriotic Sardinian and Bourbon Oovenimenta. 
I had heard from the fishermen of the existence of this 
squadron — anchored, perhaps, behind this very point — 
bat all the information I had received was vague and 

TOt. II. 


nncertain. Pursuing our course for Venice, the first 
8hip we discovered was a brigantine, the Ch-ienle, 1 
think, which sighted us to the north. As aoou as she 
had sighted us, she put about to approach ua. 

I contrived to make the otlier boats understand that 
they were to alter their course to port, so as to approach 
the coast and get out of the line of the moonlight, in. 
which it was easier for the enemy to discover our small 

This precaution was of no avail, the night being the 
clearest I had ever seen ; and the enemy not only kept 
ua in sight, but began, while we were still at a consider- 
able distance, to signal our approach to the rest of the 
aquadron with guns and rockets. I tried to pass 
between the Austrian vessels and the shore, turning a 
deaf ear to the shots aimed at ns ; but the crews of the 
other boats, terrified by the din of the firing and the 
increasing nnrabers of the enemy, retreated, and, as I 
did not wish to leave them, I went with them. "WTjen 
day broke, we were in the bay formed by the curve of 
the Punta di Goro, surrounded by hostile vessels, which 
continued to fire on us. I saw with great grief that 
several boats had already surrendered. It had become 
impossible either to advance or retreat, the enemy's 
craft carrying much more sail than ours ; so that there 
was nothing for it but to run for the shore, which we 
reached under fire from the fleet, and pursued by their 
l>oats. Only four of the fishing-vessels remained, all 
the rest having fallen into the hands of the enemy. 
I leave it to be imagined what waa my position at 



that unhappy momeut. My poor wife ciyinR, tlie 
eaemy pursuing U3 iushore with the conlideDce gained 
by an easy victory, and the prospect of landing on a 
coast where, in all probability, we should find more 
enemies, — not only Austrians, but papal partisans, then 
in full swing of reaction. 

There was no help for it — we had to land. I took 
Anita in my arms, stepjred ashore, and laid her down on 
the beach, I told my comrades, whose looks asked me 
what they were to do, to set out by ones and twos, and 
seek refuge wherever they could find it ; but, whatever 
they did, to leave the point where we then were, as the 
enemy's boats might arrive at any moment. For my- 
self, it was impossible to proceed, as my wife was 
dying, and I could not leave her. 

The men whom I addressed were also very dear to 
me — Ugo Bassi, and Ciceruacchio with his two sons. 
Bassi said to me, " I shall go and try to 6ud some hut 
where I can get another pair of trousers ; these are 
certainly too conspicuous." He was wearing red ones, 
which, I think, had been taken by one of our men from 
the corpse of a French soldier at Home, and given to 
Ugo Bassi, whose own were quite worn out, some days 
ago. Ciceruacchio bade me an affectionat* farewell, and 
left me with his sons. We parted from those true-hearted 
Italians, never to meet again. The ferocity of priests 
and Austrians satisfied its thirst for blood by shooting 
them, and thus, a few days later, wreaked its vengeance 
for all past fears. Witli Ciceruacchio were, besides his 
two sons, a Captain Parodi, one of my brave comrades 


at Montevideo, and one Ramorino, a Genoese priest. 
I do not recollect the rest, 

"Dig nine graves," said an Austrian captain under 
the orders of an Austrian prince, wlio commanded in 
that part of Italy, and who liad arrested my nine fellow- 
soldiers — " dig nine graves ! " was his imperious order 
to a crowd of peasants, who, thanks to the priests, were 
afraid of the Italian liberals, whom they bad been taught 
to look on OS murderers, and not of tlie Austrian soldiers. 
The graves were dug in a few minutes in that light 
aandy soil. 

Poor old Ciceruaccliio ! true type of the honest 
man of the people, — standing there before the graves 
which were to hold himself, his comrades, and his sons 
— one of them a hoy of thirteen ! The graves having 
been tried and found lai^ enough, they were all shot 
and buried — of course, by Italian hands. The foreign 
soldier was master. He gave orders to his slaves, and 
obedience bad to be instantaneous, if not^tlie scourge. 
Ugo Bassi was also arrested and shot, together with 
LevT^, one of my comrades at Montevideo, a brave 
and lovable Milanese. Ugo Bassi was tortured by the 
priests before lieing shot ; be had Ijeen a priest Iiimself^ 
and therefore their rage agaiuat him was all the greater. 

I remained in a maize-field near the sea, with my 
Anita and Lieutenant Leggiero, my inseparable com- 
panion, who had also remained with me in Switzerland, 
after the affair at Morazzone in 1848. My beloved 
wife's lost words referred to her children, whom she had 
a presentiment she would never see E^iu. 



We remained for a time in the maize-field, rather 
undecided what to do. At last I told Leggiero to 
advance a little inland, in order lo discover some house 
in the neighbourhood. With his accustomed daring, he 
started at once. I waited a short time; but after a 
while I heard people approaching, and, coming out of 
our hiding-place, saw Leggiero accompanied by a man 
whom I recognized at once, and the sight of whom was 
a great consolation to me. It was Colonel Nino Bon- 
net, one of my most distinguislied officers, who, after 
being wouJided at the siege of Rome, where he had also 
lost a brother, had gone home to recover. Nothing more 
fortunate could have happened to me than a meeting 
with this tnie comrade. Residing in the neighbourhood, 
where he was a proprietor, he had heard the cannon- 
ading, and, concluding therefrom that we had landed, 
iiad hastened to the sea-shore to find and help us. 
Brave and intelhgent. Bonnet, at gi^eat peril to himself, 
searched for us, and found what he sotight. Having 
imce found such an ally, I placed myself entirely under 
his directions, wliich was, of course, our only chance of 
escape. He immediately proposed that we should make 
tmr way to a small hut not far off, where we might find 
some help for my unfortunate companion. We went on, 
supporting Anita between us, and with difficulty reached 
the house, where the pcjop jmople supplied us with water, 
the first requirement of the suH'ering woman, and some 
titker things. Thence we passed on to the house of 
Bonnet's sister, who was most kind. Leaving her, we 
crossed the valley of Comaccliio and approached La 


Mandriola, where wb hoped to find a phyaician. When 
we reached La Mandriola, Anita was lying on a mat- 
tress in the cart whicli had bronght her, and I said to 
Dr. Zannini, who arrived almost immediately, " Try 
and aave her." The doctor said to me, " We must try 
to get her to bed." The four of ua then each took a 
corner of the mattress, and carried her into the house, 
to a room at the head of the stairs. In laying her down 
on the bed, I thought I saw the death-look in her face. 
I felt her wrist — there was no pulse. The mother of 
my children, the woman I loved, was lying before me 
a corpse. When I first meet them again, tbey will ask 
me for their mother ! 

I mourned bitterly for the loss of my Anita, my 
inseparable companion in the most adventurous pas- 
sages of my life. I directed the good people about me 
to bury the body, and left, yielding to their entreaties, 
and knowing that I should compromise them by remain- 
ing longer. I staggered along, scarcely able to walk, to 
Sant' Alberto, accompanied by a guide, who took me to 
the house of a tailor, a poor man, but honest and generous. 

With Bonnet — to whom I must acknowledge that I 

owe my life — begins the list of my protectors, without 

whose help I should never have been able to perform my 

thirty-seven days' journey, from the moutlis of the Po 

I J to the Gulf of Sterbino, where I embarked for Ligurio. 

From the window of the house I stayed in at Sant' 
Alberto, I could see the Austrian soldiers walking 
about, with their usual insolent air of master)'. I lived 
in two houses in this worthy little village, and in both 

nETREJ T. 30 

I was guarded, hidden, and treuted witli a generosity 
which was scarcely to be expected from these good 
people's miserable way of living. From Sant' Alberto 
my friends decided to transfer me to the neighbouring 
pine forest, where I remained for some time, moving 
about from place to place for greater security. 

Several people were in the secret of t)ie concealment 
which saved me from the researches not only of the 
Austriana, but of the Papalini, who were worse still. 
These courageous Komagnoles — most of them young 
men — were untiring in their care for my safety. When 
they thought me in danger in one place, I used to see 
them coming up at night with a cart, to remove me 
to a safer situation, many miles distant. The Austrians. 
for their part, and the priests, spared uo efforts to 
discover me. The former had divided a battalion into 
seclions, wliich marched in every direction through the 
pine woods. The latter, from pulpit, and confessional, 
exhorted the ignorant peasant women to act as spies — 
" to the greater glory of God." 

My young protectors had arranged their night-signals 
with admirable skill, so as to transfer me from one 
point to another, and to give the alarm in case of 
danger. When all was known to be safe, a fire was 
lit in an appointed place, and we passed on ; if, on the 
contrary, no fire was seen, we turned back or took \ 
another direction. Sometimes, fearing some mistake, 
the driver stopped the cart, got down, and himself weut 
on to reconnoitre — or else, without getting down, found 
some one to give him directions at once. 


These arrangements were made with admirable 
precision. Be it noted that, if anything liad trans- 
pired — if my persecutors had had the slightest hint of 
what was happening — they would have shot even the 
very children of the people who showed me such 
devotion, without trial and without mercy. 

It is a grief to me that I cannot put on record the 
names of those generous Romagnolea. to whom certainly 
I owe my life. Had I not been already consecrated to 
the sacred cause of my country, tliia fact would certainly 
impose the obligation on me. 

In this way I passed several days in the beautiful 
pine forest of Ravenna, sheltered for a time in the 
cabin of a noble, honest, and generous man called 
Savini ; at others hidden in the thickets which abound. 
On one of these occasions it happened that, while 
I lay stretched out beside my comrade Leggiero, on one 
side of a clump of bushes, the Anstrians passed on 
the other — their voices, anything but welcome, some- 
what disturbing the quiet of the forest and our peace- 
ful reflections. They passed very near us, and we 
probably formed the subject of their rather animated 
conversation. From the pine forest we were passed on 
to Ravenna, finding shelter in a house outside one of 
the city gates — I do not remember which — where we 
were welcomed with the same care and losing-kindness 
as everywhere else. From Ravenna we went on to 
Cervia, to the farm of another good man, whose kindly 
face I remember perfectly, but not his name. We 
remained there a couple of days, and then started oS' 


for Forii, ^'liere we paaaeil the night, shelteretl by an 
honest family ; and then went on across the Apennines, 
accompanied by guides. 

It ia worthy of remark, in passing, that none among 
that noble population is capable of stooping to the 
baseness of an informer, and that, meeting with an 
outlaw, they regard hira aa sacred, rescue him , feed 
him, guide him with nneqnalled kindness. 

The long sway of the most perverse and corrupting 
of governments has failed to enervate or deprave the 
rharacters of those manly and generous folk. The 
Government of thievea (1872) which has succeeded 
the Government of the priests, does not know these 
people, whose unhappy lot ia cast under iti administra- 
tion, and tortures them heedless of consequences. It 
will become aware of their quality on the day when 
the whole country, from the land of the Vespers and 
from Bom^na to the Alps, will call on it to give an 
account of its stewardship. 

Crossing the frontier of Romagna into Tuscany, we 
met with the same interest and kindness in tliis part of 
Italy — that country so divided by clerical influence and 
her long misfortunes, yet destined to form but a single 
people. One Anastasio, among others, welcomed and 
sheltered us in his house among the mountains. Then 
a priest ! A true guardian angel to the proscribed, he 
sought us, foimd us, and took us to his own house at 
Modigliana. I repeat here what I have often said 
already — that I hate the false and perverse priestly 
character; but when the individual is shorn of his 


factitious qualities, and returns to simple human uature, 
I look upon him as a man among other men. 

Padre Giovanni Verita, of Modigliaua, was the true 
priest of Christ ; and by Christ I understand the 
virtnons maa and legislator, not tliat being deified by 
the priests, who make use of hia name to cover the 
foulness and futility of their own existence. Padi-e 
Giovanni Verita, as soon as a man persecuted by the 
priests for the love of Italy approached bis part of the 
countiy, made it his business to shelter, feed, and guide 
him, or have him guided, to a place of safety. He had 
thus saved, by hundreds, the proscribed Eomagnolea, 
who, condemned by the inexorable rage of tbe clergy, 
had sought refuge in Tuscany — a couutry whose govern- 
ment, though not good, was at least less atrocious than 
that of tbe priests. Proscriptions were frequent among 
the unfortunate and courageous people, and whenever, 
in my wanderings, I met with banished Komagnoles, I 
always heard them ble.9s the name of this truly pious 

We remained a couple of days in Don (liovanni'a 
bouse, in bis own %-illage of M-odigliana, where the 
universal affection and esteem in which be was held 
served as a protection to his hospitable home. We 
were then guided by him across the Apennines, with 
the intention of passing along tbe ridge of these moun- 
tains, BO as to get into the Sardinian states. 

One evening, when we had reached the neighbour- 
hood of Filigari, our generous conductor left us in a 
retired ^t, while be pushed on to the village to find 


a guide. A mistake arose on this occasion, wliicli, 
greatly to my regret, separated me from him, A guide 
ho sent — perhaps overcome by sleep, aa the night was 
already far advanced— lost his way, and was late in 
reachiiig us. When we entered the v-illaye, Don 
Giovanni liad already left it by a different road to join 
us, impatient at the delay, which was not ours, but the 
guide's. It was already growing light, — we were on the 
high-road from Bologim to Floreuce, and could remain 
no longer iu 90 exposed a position. "We then resolved 
to get a cart, and go along the road to Floreuce, feeling 
great regret at parting from the generous man who had 
so far guided and protected us. 

Following the road leading to the Tuscan capital, we 
came, when it was already broad daylight, upon an 
Austrian corps marching to Bologna. We had, perforce, 
to pat a good face on the matter, and in this way pro- 
ceeded for some time towards the western slope of the 

Having reached an inn on the left-hand side of the 
road, the driver stopiied, and we found it convenient 
to halt there for a tim& A\'e entered the house, dis- 
charged the driver, and asked the host for a cup of 
coffee. While we were waiting for it, I had sat down 
on a bench beside a long table, of the kind usually 
found in such establishments, on the left side of the 
door, and, being rather tired, fell into an uneasy doze, 
my head resting on my arms. Leggiero awakened me 
by touching me on the shoulder with bis finger, and 
as I looked up, my eyes fell on the unprepossessing 



countenances of some Croats who had invaded the inn. 
I laid my liend down aj;aiii on my arma without 
appearing to have seen any one. As soon as the inu 
was cleared, and we had taken aonie refreshment — our 
masters having been duly served first — we crossed thi; 
Toad, and sought and found shelter in a peasant's 
house to the right of it. 

Having rested for a time, and made the necesaaiy 
inquiries, we started for Prato, with the intention of 
reaching the Ligurian frontier. After marching through 
the greater part of the day, we reached a valley, where 
we found a kind of rustic inn, and asked for a night's 

At this inn we saw a young sportaman Ijom Prato, 
who seemed to know the country well, and be intimate 
with tlte people of the house. This young fellow was 
respectable in appearance and frank in manner, with 
one of those honest, open faces which seldom deceive 
one. I watched him for some tune, in such a way aa 
to express a desire to speak to him, and at last 
approached him. After a little conversation, I told 
him my name, and saw at once that I had not been 
mistaken. The young Pratese was visibly touched by 
my name, and I could see bis eyes light up with the 
pleasure of doing a kindness. He said to me, " I will 
go at once to Prato — it is only a few miles ; I will apeak 
to my friends, and come back to you in a short time." 

He was as good as his word, returning before long ; 
and we followed him to Prato, where his friends — the 
advocate Martini at their head— hati got ready a carriage 


to take us by way of Empoli and Colle, to the Tuscan 
Maremma, where, having reconimendatious to other 
honest Italians, we thought it probable we should find 
a vessel to cross to some point in the Ligmdan territory. 

The resolution taken by the good patriots of Prato, 
to send us on towards the Maremma, was occasioned 
by the rigorous examination to which trnvellere were 
subjected by the Ducal Government, on the Sardinian 
frontier, in order to prevent the escape of those 
politically compromised — then very numerous — ^who 
wrare likely to seek safety beyond the western frontier, 
on that part of Italian soil where Austrian arn)gance 
was never more to find scope for its lust of murder and 

The advocate Martini, of I'rato, among the rest of our 
benefactors and deliverers, deserves unbounded grati- 
tude. He not only went out of his way to facilitate 
our journey, but recommended us warmly to his friends 
and connectiona in the Maremma, who were of the 
greatest service to us. It grieves me much that I 
cannot remember the name of the young man who had 
so conspicuous a share in onr rescue, and with whom 
I left a little ring, of trilling value, as a souvenir and 
token of affection. 

Onr journey from Prato to the Maremma was indeed 
lungular. We passed over a great extent of country in 
a clostd carriage, stopping every now and then to 
ch&nge horses. Our halts in some places were rather 
longer tJian was absolutely necessarj', some of our 
drivers being much less careful of us than others. In 



this way lime given to the curious to surround the 
carriage; sometimes, too, we were obliged to leave it 
for meala, instead of having them brought to ub, to con- 
ceal in some degree our exceptional situation. In small 
vill^es, our vehicle was, of course, turned into a species 
of pillory by the idlers of the place, who offered aloud 
a thousand conjectures as to who wc were, and were 
naturally disposed to gossip about people whom they 
did not know, and who, therefore, in those difficult 
and terrible times of reaction, seemed doubtful or 
even dangerous characters. At CoUe, in particular, 
nowadays quite a patriotic and advanced place, we were 
surrounded by a crowd, from whom our faces, certainly 
not those of peaceful and indifferent travellers, drew 
manifest tokens of suspicion and dislike. However, 
nothing took place beyond a few abusive epithets, which, 
as was to be expected under the circumstances, we pre- 
tended not to hear. 

We were, unhappily, still in the times when the 
priests used to tell people that the Liberals were a 
set of murderers (1849). A few years later, however, 
I was received in the same village witli the most 
enthusiastic kindness, which I shall certainly remember 
all my life. 

We passed under the walls of Volterra, where Guer- 
razzi was at that time in confinement, with some of the 
political " suspects " of Tuscany ; and were forced to 
content ourselves with pulling our hats down over our 
eyes as we drove by. The first safe place of refuge we 
came to was San Dalmazio, where we were already in 

the ceiglibourliood of the Maremma. We stayed in the 
house of Dr. Camillo Serafino, a generous man and true 
Italian patriot, of uncommon courage and tirinnesa. As 
Tuscan deputy to tlie parliament of 1859, after the 
emancipation of his country', I know that he, like the 
honest Giovanni VeritJi, participated in every courageous 
deliberation of that assembly ; aud I imagine that he, 
like many others, must have retired in disgust at find- 
ing himself associated with men unworthy to represent 

We remained several days at Serafino's house, and 
were afterwards taken to a bathing-establishment be- 
longing to another Martini, a relative of ihe first, and 
as kind-hearted as he. Thence we went on to the 
house of one Guelfi, nearer the sea — in each place 
meeting with a hospitality worthy of the greatest 

In the mean time, these generous friends were nego- 
tiating our passage to Liguria with a Genoese fisher- 
man. One day, several young men of the district, 
armed like Ravenna hunters, with their double-barrelled 
fowling-pieces, aud, like them, active, strong, and fearless, 
came to fetch us at honest Guelfi's house, gave each of 
us a weapon similar to their own, and guided us through 
the woods to the shore, which we reached at a spot a 
few miles east of Follonica, a coaling-station in the Gulf 
of Sterbino. Here we found the iishing-hoat waiting 
for us, and embarked, deeply touched by the kindness 
of our young deliverers. 

How proud I felt then of my Italian birth, of my 


connection with this land of the dead, and with the 
people who, according to our neighbours, do not fight 
Though we were fallen from the high estate of onr 
world-ruling forefathers, yet these insolent neigliboura, 
unable to forget our former greatness, endeavoured to 
subject U3, humiliated, depraved, and corrupted in body 
and soul, to the power of a debased sacerdotalism, so 
that, reduced to the miserable condition of political 
cretins, we might kiss the rod, no longer even conscious 
of the degradation to which they had doomed us to all 
eternity. They seemed to think their pigmy sway 
would endure for ever, even wliile Time with the chill 
blast of liis wing sweeps away the gigantic structures of 
human greatness, past, present, and future — structures 
whose ruins tliis day stand on the Seven Hills. Proud, 
I say, of my birth in Italy, where yet, in spite of the 
sway of priests and roblters, a young generation is 
growing up, which, scorning torture and deatl 
marching straight to the goal — the fulfilment of duty, 
the emancipation of the slave. 

Having embarked in the Gulf of Sterbino, on board 
a Ligurian fishing-vessel, we sailed towards the island of 
Elba, where we were to take some necessaries on board. 
After passing part of the day and one night at Porto 
Longone, we coasted along the Tuscan shore, and 
reached the roadstead of Livomo, whence we continued 
our course westward without stopping. 

I had no expectation of a faA'ounible reception from 
the Sardinian Government, and this induced me to 
entertain the idea of asking for an asylum on board an 

BETREA T. 4!1 

English veBsel which was at anchor there. However, 
the desire of seeing my children before leaving Italy — 
wliere I knew that I could not remain — waa too strong 
for me ; and we landed in safety at Porto Venere about 
tha month of September. 

Betveea Porto Venere and Chiavari, notldng worth 
mentioning happened to us. At this last town we were 
hospitably received at the house of my cousin, Barto- 
lommeo Pucci, of whom I entertained an affectionate 
recollection. We were quite feteil by my relatives, as 
well as hy the good i>eople of Chiavari, and the numer- 
ous LombanU who had taken refuge there after the 
battle of Novara. But General La Marmora, then royal 
commissioner at Genoa, hearing of my arrival, ordered 
m6 to be transferred to t!mt city, under tlie escort of a 
captain of carbineers in plain clothes. I was not aur- 
priaed at the general's proceedings ; he was merely an 
in^rument of the policy then prevalent in our country, 
and connected with the most secret workings of the 
same — therefore on his own account au enemy to every 
nun who, like myself, bore the brand of republicanism, 

I was imprisoned in a secret room of the ducal palace 
at Oenon, and then at night placed on board the frigate 
San Michele. I was treated with courtesy, both by Lii 
Hunnora at Genoa, and on Ijoard the Sun Miehde by 
the chivalrous commander, Persano. 

I only asked for twenty -four hours, in which to land 
Bt Nice, embrace my children, and return to take my 
plac« as a prisoner. Geneiiil Lii Miirmora allowed me 
to go. on parole. 

VOL. [I. > 



Whether or not there were other disguised Govern- 
ment agents on board the San Giorgio (the steamer 
which took me to Nice), I cannot say, but certain it is 
that, on my arrival, the alarm had been given, and the 
carbineers were on the alert Tliey kept me waiting 
for several hours — after the usual custom of the royal 
authorities — before allowing me to land, so that I had 
harely time to get to Cavas, where my children were, 
pass the night there, and return again immediately. 

The sight of my children, whom I was forced to 
leave for I conid not tell how long, was unspeakable 
pain to me. It is true that I was leaving them in 
friendly hands, the two boys with my cousin, Augtisto 
Garibaldi, and my Teresa with the Deiderya, who acted 
the part of parents to her. But it was clear that I 
to leave tliom for an indefinite period, since one of the 
propositions made to me was, that I should choose a 
place of ejtile. Here I must not pass by in silence the 
manly defence of my cause undertaken by the deputies 
of the Left, in the Piedmonteso Parliament. BaraliB, 
Borella, Valerio, Brniferio, raised their voices earnestly 
in my behalf, and, if they failed to save me from exile, 
certainly saved me from some worse fate. The Austro- 
clerical party had, as usual, an insatiable thirst for 
blood, and had been victorious everj-where in the Penin- 

Being rerjuested to name a place of exile, I chose 
Tunis. My hopes of better destinies for my country 

ade me prefer a spot not too distant ; where, moret 
I knew I should find Castelli, of Nice, a friend of my 



cliildhood, and Pedriani, a devoted comrade who shared 
my firat proscription in 1834. 

I therefore embarked for Tunis on board the war- 
st«amer Tripoli. At Tunis, the Govemmeut, which waa 
subject to the dictation of France, did not want me, and 
I was sent back and landed in the island of Maddaleua, 
where I remained about twenty days. 

Ridiculous as it seems, there were persons foolish 
enough to accuse me to the Sardinian Government — or, 
at least, so the Government pretended — of plotting a 
revohition in that island, where a good half of the 
population were at that time either actually in the 
royal service, or in receipt of royal pensions ; — good 
people, for the rest, who treated me very kindly. 

From Maddalena I was sent to Gibraltar, in the war- 
brigantine ColonAo. The English governor of the place 
gave me six days in which to leave it. The affection 
and just gratitude which 1 have always felt towards 
that generous nation, made tliis proceeding seem all the 
more discourteous, futile, and unworthy. 




If that kick to the fallen had been given by a base or 
weak nation, one could have borne it. But from a 
representative of England, the universal haven of 
refuge, it cut me to the heart. 

Forced to leave — even though, to do so, I had been 
obliged to throw myself into the sea — I resolved, under 
the advice of some friends, to cross the strait and seek 
refuge in Africa, with Signor G. B. Carpeneto, Sardinian 
consul at Tangier. This gentleman received and 
entertained me in his house for six months, with my 
two companions, Leggiero and Coccelli. At Modigliana 
I had found a beneficent priest ; at Tangier I met with 
a consul in the royal service, who was a generous and 
honest man : to both I owe the deepest gratitude. 
These facts prove the justice of the old proverb, " The 
cowl does not make the monk;" and show that the 
exclusiveness professed by some people is a mistake, 
while it is very difficult to find perfection in the human 
family. Let us, then, strive after personal goodness 
for ourselves — inculcate, as far as possible, on the 
multitudes, the maxims of justice and truth, and fight 


to the death against ecclesiasticism and tyranny in any 
tbrtn, since tbey are the representatives of falsehood 
and evil; but let us be indulgent towards our yet 
unciTilized species, which, among other titles of merit, 
has that of always producing one-half of itself, in 
the shape of emperors, kings, police-agents of every 
description, and priests^who seem cut out on purpose, 
with all the choicest attributes of exeoutionera — to 
promote the glory aud well-being of the others. 

At Tangier, with my generous host Carpeneto, I 
lived a quiet and happy life, as far as the life of an 
Italian exile, far from his country and hia dear ones, 
can be so. At least twice in the week we used to go 
shooting, game being abundant. Besides this, a friend 
placed a small boat at my disposal, and we made 
pleasant and successful fishing-expeditions. The kind 
hospitality offered me in the house of Mr. Murray, the 
English vice-consul, withdrew me sometimes from my 
mlitary and savage habits. In this way six months 
passed by pleasantly enough ; all the more so by 
L-onCrast with the terrible time that had gone before. 

At the same time, I was not forgotten in my banish- 
ment by all my Italian friends. Francesco Carpanetto, 
to whom I owed, ever since my arrival in Italy in 1848, 
an infinity of favours and kindnesses, had hit upon the 
idea of collecting, among my acquaintances and his own, 
a sum sufficient for the purchase of a ship, which I was 
to command. This project quite met my views ; for, 
unable as I was to do anything towards the accom- 
Iiliduaent of my political task, I could at least, by 


engaging in mercantile pursuits, gain an independent 
livelihcMDd, and no longer be a burden to the generous 
laan who had received me as his guest. I immediately 
fell in with my friend Francesco's plan, and prepared 
to set out for the United States, where the purchase of 
the vessel was to be effected. 

About June, 1850, I embarked for Gibraltar, pro- 
ceeding thence to Liverpool, and from Liverpool to 
New York. During the crossing I was assailed by 
rheumatic pains, which lasted through a great part of 
the voyage, and was at last carried ashore like a bale 
of goods at Staten Island, New York. 

These pains continued for a couple of months, wliich 
I passed partly in Staten Island and partly in New 
York City, at the house of my dear and vahied friend, 
Michele Fastacaldi, where I enjoyed the charming 
society of the illustrious Foresti, one of the martyrs of 
the Spielberg. 

Carpanetto'a plan could not, however, be carried int^i 
effect for want of contributors. He had got tliree 
shares, of 10,000 francs each, taken up by Piazzoni 
and the brothers Camozzi of Bergamo ; but what 
ship could be bought in America for 30,000 trance? 
Nothing larger than a small coasting-vessel ; and, not 
being an American citizen, I should have been obliged 
to engage a captain of that nation, which did not suit me. 

At last it became necessary to do something. An 
honest man of my acquaintance, Antonio Meucci of 
Florence, who had deteniiined to establish a candle- 
factory, offered me a place as his assistant. No sooner 



said than done. I could not take a share in tlie 
business for want of funds, as the 30,000 francs above 
mentioned, being inauflicient for the purchase of a ship, 
had reiniiined in Italy ; but joined on condition of 
giving; my services as far as I could. 

I VForked for some months under Meucci, who treated 
me, not as oue of liis factory hands, hut as a member 
of the family, and with great kindness. 

One day, liowever, tired of making candles, and 
perhaps driven by natural and habitual restlessness, I 
left the liouse with the intention of changing my trade. 
I remembered that I had been a sailor. I knew some 
words of English, and made my way to the shore of 
the island, where I perceived a number of coastin;^ 
craft, busy loading and unloading goods. Reaching the 
first, I expressed my wish to come on board as a sailor. 
The men I saw on deck scarcely took any notice of me, 
and went on with their work. Approacliing a second 
vessel, I made another trial, with the same result. At 
last I passed on to a third, which was just being 
unloaded, and, asking whether I might be allowed Xo 
help in the work, was told that no more bunds were 
required. " Hut I do not ask for wages," I insisted. 
No reply. " I want to work to warm myself." In 
fact, tliere was snow on the ground. No one paid any 
heed to me, and 1 was overwhelmed with mortification. 

My thoughts went hack to the times when I had the 
honour of commanding the Montevidean Jieet — not to 
speak of the gallant and immortal army of that Republic. 
Wbat was the use of all tliat ? No one wattt«d me. 


At last I swallowed my vexation, and returned to work 
at the tallow. It was fortunate that I had not told 
the excellent Meucci of my resolution, and tlierefore my 
chagrin, being concentrated in myself, was easier to 
hear. I muat confess, besitlea, that my good employer's 
behaviour to me had not been the cause of my uneeasoQ- 
able resolve ; he waa always kindness itself, and so waa 
Signora Ester, his wife. My position in his house, 
then, was in nowise deserving of pity, and it was only 
an attack of melancholy that had driven lue to leave it. 
I waa perfectly at liberty there ; could work if I wished 
(and naturally I preferred useful work to any other 
occupation), or go shooting whenever I felt inclined; 
and often accompanied Meucci himself and various 
other friends from Staten Island and New York, who 
frequently favoured us with their visits, on fishing- 
expeditions. Though tliOTe was no luxury in his house, 
there was no want of comfort as regards either food 

I must now mention Major Bovi, the same who lost 
his arm at the defence of Rome, ray comrade in several 
campaigns. He liad joined rae at Tangier, at Signer 
Carpeneto's house, towards the close of my stay in that 
place of refuge ; and when I decided on crossing to 
America, my means not allowing me to take all my 
friends with me, I left Leggiero and Coccelli behind, 
with good recommendations, and chose Bovi to accom- 
pany me, aa, wanting his right hand, he was unable to 

Coccelli 1 Why should I not record a brief recollection 



of this comrade of mine, ao young, brave, and hand- 
some t Coccelli entered the Montevideo legion as a 
mere boy, and, having great musical gifts, played the 
key-bugle in tlie fine band belonging to the legion, and 
was our trumpeter in the famous charges by which that 
gallant corps made the name of Italian reaiiected in 
America. Coccelli followed the legion through all its 
campaigns, iind took part in our Italian expedition of 
1848. As an ollicer he bore an honoured part in the 
Lombard and Roman campaigns, and accompanied me 
when, proscribed by the Sardinian Government of 1849, 
I repaired to Tangier. When I quitted Tangier for 
America, I left my gun and other hunting appliances 
with Coccelli. He died very young, of a sunstroke. 

My hound Castore also had to be left at Tangier with 
my friend Mr. Murray, and this faithful companion 
died of grief at our separation. 

At last Franceao Carpanetto came to New York him- 
self, having initiated at Genoa a commercial under- 
taking on a lai^e scale, to be carried out in Central 
America. The San Qionjio, a vessel belonging to him, 
had left Genoa with part of the cargo, wlule he himself 
went to England to prepare the remainder and send it 
to Gibraltar, where the vessel was to pick it up. It 
being decider! that I shoidd accompany hint to Central 
Amerioa, we at once made preparations for starting, and 
in 1S51, 1 set out for Chagres with Carpanetto, on board 
an American steamer commanded by Captain Johnson. 

From Chngres we proceeded in a yacht of the same 
nationality to San Juan del Norte, where we took a 



canoe and ascended the San Juan River as far as Lake 
Nicaragua. CroaBing the lake, we reached Granada, its 
port and greatest commercial centre, where we i-emained 
a few days, heing kindly received by some Italians 
resident there. Here began my friend's commercial 
operations, in pursuance of which we \'iBited many 
parts of Central America, and crossed the Isthmus of 
Panama several times. 

I accompanied my friend in these excursions rather 
as a travelling companion than a partner in business; iu 
which, I confess, I was a novice. Carpanetto, however, 
was far from being such; and I admired the activity and 
intelligence with which he managed every affair which 
promised to tiu'u out to advantage. I travelled at that 
time under the name of Giuseppe Pane, already assumed 
in 1834, to escape from curiosity and the molestatiouB of | 
the police. The basis of Garpauetto's commercial pro- 
jects was the San Giorgio's arrival at Lima, and his 
int«ntion was to proceed to that city in order to await 
her. We therefore returned to San Juan del Norte, and 1 
thence to Chagres, whence we ascended the river Gruz, j 
in order to reach Panama. 

On this last journey, I was attacked by the terrible 1 
fever endemic in that marshy region, with its tropical 
climate. Struck down as if by a thunderbolt, I was , 
never so prostrated by any illness before or since. Had 
it not been for the kindness of some worthy Italian.s ■ 
and Americans whom I met with at Panama — the 
brothers Monti being among the former — I should prob- 
ably have succumbed. Jly good friend Carpanetto J 

watclicd over and cared for me at that critical time as 
if he had been my brother. 

Onee embarked at Panama on board the English 
steamer which waa to take me to Lima, I found a balm 
in the sea-air, which restored my sti-ength more effec- 
tually than any medicine. We passed Giiayaquil, where 
1 tried in vain to discover the peak of Chimborazo, whicli 
ia almost always hidden by the clouds. At Payta we 
landed, and spent the day, I was hospitably received 
in tilie house of a benevolent lady, who had been con- 
fined to her bed for several years in consequence of a 
paralytic stroke, which deprived lier of the use of her 
Itmbs. I passed part of the day ou a sofa beside 
this lady's couch, as, tliough my liealth had somewhat 
improved. I was still obliged to lie stretched out with- 
out moving. 

Donna Manuelita de Saenz was the moat graceful 
and courteous matron I ever saw. Having enjoyed 
the friendship of Bolivar, slie was acquainted witli the 
, mitiutest details of the life of the great liberator of 
Central America, whose entire devotion to the work of 
his country's deliverance, and the lofty virtues which 
sdomed him, were not sutticieiit to shield him from the 
poison of envy and Jesuitry which embittered his later 
days. It is the old story — the story of all the great 
men of this world, still a prey to the miserable non- 
entities who know how to cheat it. 

After that day, wliich, by cuutraat with so many 
passed in pain and weakness, I may well call delicious, 
because spent iu the intei-esting society of this invalid 



lady, I parted from her deeply touched. Both of us 
had tears iii our eyes, knowing, no doubt, that it was 
our last farewell on earth. 

Having once more embarked, I reached Lima, sXXer 
steaming along the beautiful Pacific coast. I have 
used the word " beautiful " in speaking of the western 
coast of South America between Panama and Lima; 1 
but I should have aaid picturesque, aince this oc^st, 
with the exception of Panama, Guayaquil. Payta, and 
Lima, shows along the greater portion of its length 
scenes which recall the desert shores of Aftica. Yet 
here and there are spots, like the green oases of the , 
Sahara, of astonishing fertility. In that country, where , 
the rains are rare and scanty, springs of fresh water j 
gush out quite close to the sea, and one need only dig ' 
two or three feet deep, to find it in abundance. The ] 
Andes, those giants of the earth, which are not far from 
the coast, are the storehouses of this pure water — a , 
greater treasure to tlie country, perhaps, than the ■ 
precious metals so well known to abound there. 

I had expected to find, on that slope of the great 
American chain, more living vegetation, and less 
tlesolate sandy desert; in short, I had looked for 
iQuch more beautiful scenery at the foot of tlie lof^ | 
Cordilleras. Born on the slopes of the Alps, I sought I 
in vain, gazing landward, for a lovely valley to be | 
compared to that of my own beautiful Nice. 

Nevertheless, that interesting coast is very picturesque, | 
and, if not beautiful as a whole, has beautiful parts, such ] 
Its Lima, and the valley of Paradise — Valparaiso. 

EXILE. 61 

At Lima, where we found tlie San G-iorgio, I had a 
luoet cordial welcome from the rich and generous Italiaii 
colony — especially from the Sciutto, Denegri, and Ma- 
lagrida families. Signer Pietro Denegri gave me the 
command of the Cartnen, 3 barque of four hundred tona, 
and I prepared for a voyage to China. 

My friend Carpanetto left Lima in the San Giorffio, in 
order to return to Central America and fetch the cargo 
he had prepared there, I was never again to Bee this 
devoted friend, to whom I owed so much kindness ajid 
perhaps my life. He died of cholera, a few years later, 
without being able to complete the undertakings begun 
BO hopefully and with bo mucli sagacity, wliich ended 
in nothing but bitter disappointment and death in a 
Btrange land, so far from the Italy he loved. 

At Lima, before entering on the voyage, I met with 
an adventure much to be regretted. I stayed, for some 
time after my arrival in that city, in Malagrida's house, 
where, not yet recovered from the fever, I received the 
kindest care and nursing from liimself and his amiable 
lady. At this house, a Frenchman — a thorough-going 
ehauvin — was a frequent visitor. Being naturally some- 
wiiat unsociable, and perceiving that he was an exceed- 
ingly talkative individual, I avoided, as far as possible, 
entering into conversation with him. One day, how- 
ever, he fairly cornered me, and, in spite of myself, 
dnw me into conversation on the Roman expedition 
carried out liy Bonaparte's anny. The subject was 
naturally distasteful, and I tried to change it, but in 
vain ; for not only did Le persist in continuing it, but 


expressed himself in abusive terms about the Italians. 
I replied somewhat severely, though keeping within the ] 
limits of deconim, out of consideration for tlie liouse I 
was in, and there the matter dropped. A few days I 
later, being at Callao (the port of Lima), on board the 
Carmen, busy with preparations for my voyage, I 
received a Lima paper, in which that chauvin insulted I 
me, I said not a word, but on Saturday evening, when 
my work was finished, I went to Lima, found out liia ' 
house, which was a large place of business, enlere<l, ' 
asked him if he knew me, and, on his replying in the 
affirmative, gave him a thrashing with a light cane 
I usually carried. Aa, in the excitement of the affair, I 
had not taken the trouble to see whether he was alone 
or not, I found that I had to deal with two antagonists, 
both stronger than myself. The new arrival, seeing me 
engaged with his companion, gave me a blow with a 
stick on the head from behind, which covered my face 
with blood, while at the same time he tried to etab me 
in the back with a sword-stick. I sta^iered for a 
minute, half-stunned, and was on the point of falling. 
Had I done so I should have been a dead man, and my 
adversaries would have had tlie law on their side, aa I 
had assaulted tliera in their own house. But, by good 
fortune, I did not fall. Inflamed by the feeling of the 
blood running down my face, I became furious, and dis- 
armed the stronger of the two, while the other retreatal 
into the inner room, more scared, surely, by my slate of 
excitement than by my strength, and soon followed by 
his Mend. I remained master of the situation, in a 


spacious warehouae which did not belong to me ; and left 
it to seek shelter elsewhere. 

Tlie friendship of niv fellow-citizens, shown towards 
me on this occasion, is worth recording. The police at 
Lima, excited hy a furious French consul, were desirous 
of arresting me by force, but the attitude assumed hy the 
Italians cooled their ardour. They took no undignified 
action, but all of them — and there were thousands at 
Lima — were strong and active men. They came in a 
body to the rescue, and respectfully intimated to the 
police commissioner that he was not to arrest me. The 
commissioner made a great ado, hut did not carry out 
the arrest, surrounded as I was by a crowd of q^uiet 
but resolute men. 

The French consul from the beginning demanded 
satisfaction from tlie Peruvian Government, which was 
explained to consist of notliing less than a fine and an 
apology on my part. The Sardinian consul, Canevarro, 
was the intermediary in this negotiation, and did not 
fail to interest himself in my behalf. The matter was 
at last concluded, without 6ne, and without apology. 

When I think of our Italian colonies in South America, 
I feel we have really something to be proud of. These 
countrymen of ours, on the free soil of those republics, 
seem to me to be worth twice a.s much as their brethren 
at home. The priest, in this favoured clime, crawls 
about indeed, reptile-fashion, ns he does everywhere 
else — but has no dominion over our kinsfolk, and very 
Utile over the sons of that happy nation. The govem- 
meots are not always good, but, as it is their interest 


to encourage foreign immigration, they prelect the 
immigrants, especially tliose of Italian nationality, who 
have so much affinity with the Iberian race. 

In South America the Italian is generally laborious 
and honest ; when some black sheep turns up, the rest 
keep an eye on him, and, if he commits any crime, 
they never rest till ha is expelled from their community. 
The seafaring portion of these emigrauts of ours are 
little kno»^l — least of all to the Italian Government; 
but certainly they compose the most energetic section 
of our immense national marine, in which the Ligurians 
predominate, and which (though tliis same Govern- 
ment of ours has not hitherto employed it to the best 
advantage) ought not at any time to be inferior either 
to the naval or merchant service of our neighbours. 

Not long after this, I set sail with the Carmen for 
the Chincha Islands, south of Lima, where we took 
on board a cargo of guano for China, returning to Callao 
to make the last prepitrations for the long voyage. 

On January 10, 1852, I weighed anchor at Callao, 
bound for Canton. We made the trip in aliout ninety- 
three days, always with a favourable wind. Passing 
in sight of the Sandwich Islands, we entered the China 
Sea between Luzon (in the Philippine Islands) and 

Arrived at Canton, a^ there was no sale for our 
cargo there, my consignee sent me on to Amoy. 
When I returned to Canton, finding that the return 
cargo was not ready, I loaded up with a general cai^o 
for Manilla From Manilla we sailed back to Canton, 



where the Carmen — which had suffered some damage 
during the long voyage — was re-coppered, and fitted 
witli new maats ; and, when the cargo was ready, got 
under way for Lima, 

I had made a careful study of the prevailing winds 
on the two routes by which it was possible to return to 
Lima. One of these is that to north, the other a 
southerly one, passing to tlie westward of Australia; 
and, after consideration, I chose the second. Any one 
who should attempt to cross direct from Canton to 
Lima, within the torrid zone (wliicli extends for a 
distance of 23° 28' on either side of the equator, and 
may, roughly speaking, be calculated at 60', as the 
breezes, for the most part, prevail up to Lat. 30° N. and 
S., and blow from ea-st to west with unfailing regularity), 
would never perform the voyage, though fully pro- 
visioned, as he would always have both wind and tide 
gainst him. On the other hand, directing your course 
away from this zone, towards the poles, you are almost 
certain of finding variable winds, generally blowing 
eastward, especially beyond Lai. 50° N. and S. We 
sailed towards the Indian Ocean, quitting the Eastern 
Aroliipelago by the Straits of Lombok, after some dif- 
ficulty in beating up the strait, on account of the south- 
west monsoon, which was still blowing hard. 

In the Indian Ocean, outside the Straits of Lombok, 
we found the breezes constant from the east, at a few 
decrees' distance. Keeping the ship's head to tlie wind, 
we continued as far as alrout 40° S., when, finding the 
wind westerly, we parsed through Bass's Strait, between 



Australia and Van Piemen's Land. Touching at one 
of the Hunter lalanda, to take in wat«r, we found 
small farm, lately deserted by an Englishman and hia 
wife, on the death of his partner. Tlus information we 
obtained from a board erected on the settler's grave, 
which set forth in brief the history of the little colony. 
" The husband and wifis," said the inscription, " unable 
to bear the loneliness of the desert island, left it, and 
returned to Van Diemen." 

The most important part of the settlement was a 
little one-storied dwelling-house, I'ough, but comfort- 
able, carefully built, and furnished with tables, beds, 
and chairs — not luxurious, indeed, but all bearing the 
impress of that comfort which seems so natural to the 
English. We also found a garden — a most useful 
discovery, as it enabled us to take on board an 
abundant supply of fresh potatoes and other vegetables. 

How often has that lonely island in Bass's Strait 
deliciously excited my imagination, when, sick of this 
civilized society so well supplied with priests and 
police-agents, I returned in thought to that pleasant 
bay, where my first landing startled a fine covey of 
partrit^es, and wliere, amid lofty trees of a century's 
growth, murmured the clearest, the most poetical of 
brooks, where we quenched our thirst with delight, and 
found an abundant supply of water for the voy^e. 

From IJoss'a Strait we sailed between New Zealand 
and the Auckland Islands, and then, getting iii 52" 
S. latitude, were driven along by strong westerly gales, 
and made for the west coast of America. Approaching 


this coast, after many days of successful navigation, we 
altered the course to port, with a view to getting the 
south-east trades, wliich carried us into Lima, after a 
passage of about one hundred days. Towards the end 
of the voyage proviaioas began to run short, and aa 
a precaution the men were put on rations. Having 
dischai^;ed at Lima, we sailed with ballast for Val- 
paraiso, where, on our arrival, the Carmen was chartered 
for a voyage to Boston with a cargo of copper. Having 
touched at various ports on the Chili coast— Coquim bo, 
Quasco, Herradura — we completed our cargo with wool, 
which was stowed on top of the copper, at Islay, in 

Leaving Islay, we sailed southward, rounded the 
Horn, and, ait«r a very stormy passage in the high 
Uititudes. reached Boston in safety. I bad orders to go 
on from Boston to New York, and, on my arrival at the 
latter place, received a letter from the Carmen's owner, 
containing a reprimand, wliich — as it seemed to me 
undeserved — led me to resign command of the vesseL 
In justice to Don Pedro Denegri, I ought to add that he 
treated me with the greatest kindness during the whole 
tune I was so fortunate as to be in his service. But a 
parasitical Thersites, who had contrived to introduce 
himself into the house, had succeeded, by unremitting 
efforte, in blackening my character in the eyea of the 

I remained a few days longer at New York, enjoying 
the society of my dear and valued friends, Foresti 
Aveszana, and Pastacaldi. During this interval, Captaia 


Figari arrived at that port, intending to purchase a 
vessel, of which he asked me to take command on the 
voyage to Europe. I accepted, and accompanied him to 
Baltimore, where he bought the Commonwealth, and 
loaded her with flour and grain. I set sail in her, and 
reached London in February, 1854. Thence I went on 
to Newcastle, where we took in coal for Genoa; and 
reached the latter port on May 10 of the same year. 

At Genoa, being laid up with rheumatism, I was 
carried to the house of my friend G. Paolo Augier, 
where I enjoyed a fortnight's kind hospitality. I then 
proceeded to Nice, and at last had the happiness of 
embracing my children after five years* exile. 

The interval between my arrival at Genoa in May, 
1854, and my departure from Caprera in February, 
1859, presents no points of interest. It was spent 
partly at sea, partly in cultivating a small property I 
had purchased in the island of Caprera. 

( 69 ) 



In Febniary, 1859, througli tlie intervention of La 
Farina, I waa smnmoned to Turin by Count Cavour. I 
entered into the policy of the Sardinian cabinet, — then 
in treaty with France, and disposed to make war on 
Austria, and flatter the Italian people. Manin, Palla- 
vicino, and other distinguished Italians, sought to bring 
about an understanding between the Italian democracy 
and the dynasty of Savoy, so as to attain, through the 
concurrence of the greater part of our national forces, 
the fulfilment of the dream of Italian wnity which 
through BO many cenlurius had occupied t!ie elect souls 
of the Peninsula, 

Believing that I still possessed some measure of 
popularity, Count Cavour, then omnipotent, summoned 
me to the capital, and certainly found me very ready to 
fall in with Ids idea of making war on the inveterate 
enemy of Italy. It is true that his ally inspired me with 
no confidence ; but what was I to do ? There was no 
help for it. 

There weighs on Italy, like an incubus, a terrible 
consciousness of weakness — assuredly the result of in- 

I aim 


teraal discori] and priestly influence, — which evSh now 
(in the last days of 1859) tells on the effeminate sons 
of Auaonia, especially the classes accustomed to a life of 
ease and leisure. 

I blush to write it, but it must be confessed — with 
France for an ally, we went to war with a light heart ; 
without her, we should not have dreamed of such a 
tiling. Such was the opinion of the majority of these 
degenerate sons of the great nation. And all this 
through ignorance and unwillingness to make uae of 
the national elements at our disposal, and because our 
unhappy country's cause is always in the hands of 
either scoundrels or doctrinaires, accustomed to long 
palavers and arguments, but not to bold and resolute 

A people determined not to bow the knee to an 
invader is invincible ; and we have no need to go far 
afield to seek for proofs. Rome, after the loss of three 
great battles, with her terrible conqueror at the gates, 
made her legions march out in sight of Hannibal, and 
sent them into Spain. Let any one find a similar 
example in the history of any country in the world I 
And when the land of our birth can boast sucli pi-ece- 
dents, we may hold up our heads and treat the insolence 
of foreigners with the contempt it deserves. 

At Turin I saw none of the Government except 
C'avour. The idea of making war on Austria by means 
of Piedmont was not new to me ; nor was that of sub- 
ordinating every political conviction to the one great 
aim of making, by whatever means, an Italian nation. 



This progmmmc was the same as tliat adopted on our 
departure from Montevideo, and when Maiiiu's and 
PaUavicini'a nohle resolution of uniting our country 
into one Italy under Victor Emmanuel was communi- 
cated to me at Caprera, it found me still with the same 
political creed. Was not such the conception of Dante, 
Machiavelli, Petrarca, and so many more of our great 
ones? I may say with pride, I have lieen and am a 
republican ; but, at the same time, 1 have never thought 
the popular system bo exclusively good that it ought to 
be forcibly imposed on the majority of a nation. In a 
free country, where the virtuous majority of the people 
under no pressure, wish for a republic, the republican 
system is certainly the best. A republic being im- 
possible for us — at least juat now (1859) — whether 
through the corruption which at present rules society, 
or the solidarity which prevails among modern 
monarclues, — and the opportimity presenting itself of 
uniting the Peninsula by means of the combination of 
dynastic and national forces, I gave in my absolute 
adhesion to the project. 

After a, few days' stay at Turin, where I was to 
perform the service of enlisting Italian volunteers, I 
soon perceived with whom I had to denl and what was 
wanted of me. I chafed at it, but what was to be done ? 
Nothing but accept the leaser evU, and, wliile unable to 
do all the good I wished, to obtain what little could be 
obtained for our unhappy country. 

Garibaldi was to keep out of sight ; to appear and 
diaappear when wanted. The volunteers ought to know 

that he was at Turin, so that they might be attracted 
to the standardB ; but at the same time Garibaldi was to 
be requested to hide himself, to give no umbrage to 
diplomacy. What a condition ! To summon the 
volunteers in large numbers, but to command only a 
small proportion of them, and those the least fit to carry 
arms ! The volunteers assembled, but were not allowed 
to see me. Depota were formed at Cuneo and Savi- 
gliano, wliile I was banished to Rivoli, near Susa. 

The management and organization of the corps was 
confided to General Cialdini. Cosenz was in command 
at Cuneo, Medici at SavigUano— both excellent officers, 
who raised the first and second regiments, the nucleus 
and the pride of the Alpine cacciat&ri. A third 
regiment, also formed at Savighano, under Arduino, 
was composed of the same elements, but failed to make 
as good a figure as the others, for want of a better leader. 

A commission of enlistment estaliliahed at Turin 
selected the most atlJetic and well-grown young men. 
between the t^es of eighteen and twenty-six, for the 
line regiments, while they left those who were too 
young, too old, or otherwise inefficient, for the volun- 
teer corps. 

With regard to the officers, tlie authorities were more 
compliant, and had the good sense to accept nearly all 
those proposed by me. These had not all been trained 
in miUtaiy academies, but nearly every one fulfilled 
my hopes by showing himself worthy of the sacred cause 
he was fighting for. 

Carrano, Corte, Cenni, and others, formed my staff. 



As I have said, General Cialdini was entirely respon- 
sible for the work of organization. 

Various projects were sketched out by the Govern- 
ment in those early times. The first was that I should 
carry on operations on the confines of the duchies, 
which would have produced immense results ; but tliis 
plan was soon changeil— no doubt for fear of letting 
me get in contact with people who might swell the 
nambers of the volunteer corps to an excessive degree ; 
so that it was thought better to place me at the ex- 
treme left wing of the army. For my part, too, I was 
glad to see once more the Lombard country and its fine 
population, so cruelly ground down by foreign tyranny. 

I was at first prorau^ed the custom-house guards. I 
cannot think that it occurred to them to give me the 
guards from the convict prisons \ I was also promised 
some battalions of Bersaglieri ; but all this would have 
made my forces too numerous, and I never had either 
the one or tlie other. On the contrary, when the volun- 
teers began to come in in great numbers, his Excellency 
of the War Office was called upon— for fear I should 
have too many— to form the corps of cocciatori of the 
Apennines, who were to have joined us, and whom I 
never even saw till the end of the war. 

General l<a Marmora, the minister of war, who bad 
always been averse to the enrolment of the volunteers, 
refused to recognize the rank of my officers, so that, in 
order to give some nominal legality to these rejected 
ones, recourse was had to the subterfuge of issuing 
commissions signed by the minister of tlie interior, and 



not by hia excellency of war. Yet we submitted to it 
all in sUence^we were fighting for Italy, against tlis 
oppressors of our brothers. 

The current of political events was hastening on, and 
Austrian insolence showed that the longed-for conflict 
was not far off. This snnjewhat expedited the anuiiig 
of the volunteer corps, whose organization was being 
actively pushed forward by General Cialdini. 

We were by no means ready when the Austrian 
invasion of Piedmontese territory took place, yet, ready 
or not, we were eager to march, Cialdini'a division 
was to defend the line of the Dora Baltea; and out 
destination was Bruaasco, on his extreme right, we 
being intended to protect the high-road from Brusasco 
(on the right bank of the Po) to Turin. 

The minister liad sent some guns to the old castle of 
Varrene, — it was said, to command the road from 
Vercelli to Turin ; and I received orders to defend this 
position, which would have fettered my movements in 
case of the enemy's aiivauce. Yet, in any case, we 
were engaged in the liberation of our Italy — the fulfil- 
ment of a lifelong dream ! We were as impatient for 
the hour of battle, my young comrades and I, aa the 
bridegroom is for that which is to unite him to the 
object of his idolatry. Free from the reprooch of every 
base ambition, we pressed forward, welcoming hard- 
ships, dangers, injustice — even the insults and injuries, 
treacherously inflicted by partisan hostility or jealousy, 
which sowed our path with thorns, and even attempted 
U) do away with our uniform and extinguish the glori- , 


ous name acquired on a liundreil battle-fielda. Yes, we 
were resolved to tolerate even outrages, provided only 
that we were suffered to fight tLe enemies of our idoL 

We passed some days at Brusasco, Brozolo, and 
Poatestura. These first marches began to get the 
soldiers into training, and we took advantage of the 
luilt« in the different villages, to drill tlieni, and accustom 
them to the various services of outpost and patrol duty. 

General Cialdini having heen called to the defence of 
Casale, we had directions to place ourselves under his 
orders. In making a reconnaissance from this town. 
we had our first sight of the Austrians. 

In a feint made hy the enemy on the outer works of 
the place, the second regiment, under Medici, gave proof 
of the capabilities of the ^Upine eaeciatori, gallantly 
cliarging the Aiistrians, and driving tliem before them. 
Captain De Cristoforis, and Sergeant Gnerzoni — who 
afterwards passed as sub-lieutenant — distinguished 
themselves on this occasion. 

On the day of this attack, a short time before it took 
place, I had been summoned by the King to his head- 
quarters at San Salvatore. He received me kindly, 
giving me instructions, with full diacretimiary powers, 
to cover the capital, in case there should be any prob- 
ability of an tmforeseen attack on the part of the 
enemy, and to proceed, as soon as the danger should 
have passed away, to harass the extreme right of the 
Austrian army. 

I tlierefore returned as far as C'hivasso in the direction 
of Turin, where I found orders to place myself and my 


brigade at the disposal of General Sonnaz. I had an 
opportunity of odniirinij the bravery and coolnesa of 
that gallant old general, on the occasion of a recon- 
naissance wliich was pushed forward into the neighbour- 
hood of Vercelli. The enemy was in the babit of 
marching out of tliis town in force, and making raide, 
plundering all the surrounding country, and spreading 
terror among its population. 

Among other written orders I had received from the 
King, was one to gather round me all the volunteers 
remaining in the various depflts, and the regiment of 
caccialori of the Apennines, composed of young men 
who had come from the different Italian provinces to 
eerve under me. I wrote to Cavour about the despatch 
of the Apennine oaccialcn-i, but, under one pretext or 
another — in spite of the order above mentioned — he 
never would send them ; so that I felt convinced there 
waa an unwillingness to increase the number of my 
soldiers. It was the old grievance, begun at Milan in 
1848 by Sobrero; continued at Rome by Campello, who 
decreed that the corps commanded by me was never to 
exceed the number of 500 ; and completed by Cavour, 
who limited me to 3000. 

The three regiments were composed of six battalions, 
with 600 men in each, forming a total of 3600 ; but the 
formation of the depdts, and the fact that my raw levies 
were unused to marching, reduced their numbers to 
3000 before we had crossed the Ticino. 

The King, who waa certainly better than the men 
who surrounded him in 1859, sent a second order to 



march towards Lago Maggiore, and operate on the 
Austrian right This was perhaps displeasing to the 
court cabal ; not so to me, who thenceforward found 
myself free to act— a position to me worth milHone. 
I therefore took leave of my hrave old general — to 
whom, short as our acquaintance had been, I was 
already united by true affection — and marched to 
ChivasBO, and thence to Biella. The brilliant and 
sympathetic reception given to my men by the people 
of BieUa was a good omen. We remained a day or two 
in that friendly city, and then marched on to Gattinara. 

The enemy, posted at Novara, having heard that T 
was marching in that direction, sent about twenty 
soldiers to cut off the ferry over the Sesia ; but an 
outpost of ours, stationed at that point, prevented this 

Here it may not be beside the point to mention an 
incident very discreditable to ua Italians, which should 
never have been allowed by the people to occur. It is 
true that the system of terror adopted by the Austrians 
in Italy bad completely cowed the population; while 
for Cavour's plan of disarming the national guards on 
the frontiers, no words of condemnation are strong 
enough. If, therefore, there were manifestations of 
weakness on the part of our peasants, or of insolence 
on that of the tyrants from beyond the Alps — who 
have 80 long believed themselves absolute masters of 
our affairs, our property, and our persons — this was 
only what might have been expected. Preceded by 
the terror which they knew how to strike into the 


inhahitant-8, these lords of Italy extorted from the 
latter all that they wanted ; as the following incident, 
humiliating to lis as it is, sufficiently proves, being all 
the more auqjrisiug that it took place among the brave 
sub-Alpine population, rich in noble military traditions, 
and long possessing a brilliant army. 

The same detachment of Austrian soldiers that had 
been sent to cut off the ferry, being unsuccessful in this, 
returned to Novara, whence they had started; and, so 
as not to have made their journey altogether in vain. 
requisitioned a large quantity of provisions, and carta 
for transport, after which they set out on the carts, 
completely intoxicated, for their quarters, traversing 
a space of about fifteen miles of hostile country — where 
the houses are numeroiis and close together, and the 
inhabitants strong and active as in the most favoured 
regions of the world — without a single Italian being 
seized with a desire to throw a stone at the drunken 
band. This ought not to have happened in our country 
— it is too degrading ; and yet it does happen, because 
the priest has taught the peasnnts that it is not 
the Austrians who are the enemies of Italy, but we 
exconmiimicated Liberals. And the Government, " by 
the grace of God," protects the priests I Ten young 
fellows of that neighbourhood, if they had resolved to 
attack that triumphal procession witli cudgels, might 
have disarmed or killed them. Such is the power of 
discouragement and deception, when scattered among 
a people which, however strong and warlike it may be 
by nature, is always unnerved by their agency. Thia 



does not prevent the same people from furnishing, iii 
time of need, soldiers, who, well officered, are equal ti.t 
the best in the world. 

Having passed the Sesia, we marched on to Borgo- 
manero, where I made my arrangements for crossing 
the Ticino. At Biella 1 had already ransulted with the 
{■allant Captain Francesco Simouetta as to the passage 
of that river, and had sent hira forward, with some 
of his horsemen, to make the necessary preparations.* 
This brave and intelligent officer had some property at 
Varallo Pombia, and was therefore thoroughly familiar 
with all places near the banks of the Ticino, as well as 
greatly loved of the peojile, so that he was able to take 
all the necessary measures nnth a sagacity which was 
truly admirable. 

I informed a few of my principal officers as to my 
determination, in such terms as to let it be clearly 
understood that I was resolved on attempting to cross 
without hesitation. To speak frankly, I was afraid of 
being recalled, or receiving some counter-order. 

From Borgomanero I sent forward to order provisions 
and quarters at Arona, convinced that in the latter 
village there would be no want of Austrian spies to 
inform the enemy of my movements. I reached Ai-ona 
with my brigade at nightfall, and entered the village 
with some horsemen, as though we wore going to take 

* Captain FranccRco RimonetU was m command uf the few 
moDDtod guidcH we bad been able to get togetlior. Like every one 
eU« beloDgmg to ua, they were id want of overythiog, and dresacd 

civQiaDB. It is only due t< 
did not die a general. 

] negligence that Ijimonetta 



up our poaition there, the commissariat ofBcers and 
foragers having assisted in the deception. 

At the same time I sent secret orders along all the 
different roads leading to the village to prevent our 
troops from entering it, directing tliem to march 
instead towards Caatelletto. Having reached Caatelletto, 
and found the boats ready below the village, I sent 
the second regiment across under Colonel Medici, 
all the rest remaining on the right bank. The passage 
was effected in good order — only, as the boats were 
rather hea^'y, and very closely packed, they were not 
easy to han'Ue, and could not land at the same spot, 
some of them being carried down tlie river by the 
current, which caused a little delay in the assembling 
of the regiment on the Lombard bank. Finally, the 
rest of us marched on Sesto Calende, made prisoners of 
a few ofBcers and gendarmes, and at ouce got the ferry 
into working order, so that the rest of the brigade 
could cross. 1 think this was on May 17, 1859. 

We were now on Lombard soil, about to face that 
dominant Power which for the last ten years had been 
preparing her victorious army (which she now thought 
invincible) to complete the work begun at Novara ; 
perhaps, too, pleasantly dreaming of the whole Peninsula 
being seized by her eagle's claws. 

We were three thousand, very little encumbered, the 
men'a baggage having been left behind at Biella. The 
carts had orders to remain in Piedmont, except a few 
intended for the ammunition ; and some mules for 
this service, and fur the ambulance, had been provideil 



by the excellent and indefatigablB surgeon- in-chief, 

From Sesto Calcnde, I marched witli the brigade tw 
Varese. During tlie niglit, Eixio with liis battalion 
manihed along the shore of the Lago Moggiore to Laveno, 
with orders to halt on tlie liigh-roail from that point 
to Varese. 

De IJristoforis remained at Seato mth his company, to 
keep communications open with Piedmont. This brave 
officer was — as he had been at Casale — the first to 
engage the enemy. The Austrians, knowing that we 
were at Sesto Calende, sent a strong reconnaissance 
thither, and found only De Cristoforis'a company on 
the spot. That gallant fellow did not count the enemy, 
but resolutely gave battle, and, after an honourable 
engagement, fell back on BLxio's di\'i8ion. This bad 
been agreed upon beforehand, as I was convinced that 
the important post of Sesto Calende could not be held 
with so small a force. The Austrians, however, with 
ehuractcristic prudence, did not themselves attempt to 
maintain it, but retired on Milan. 

Meanwliile theve wa^ a growing entbusiaem among 
tlie Lombaixl population. A definite and decisive 
insurrection was not to be expected from these good 
people. There liad been mucli disillusionment and 
niucli suffering ; the most 8pirit«d of the young men 
were, for the most part — if they were not forced 
recruits in the Austrian army — iu our own, in exile, 
or with me. Nevertheless, I was quite satisfied with 
the welcome they gave us, thciv eagerness in providing 


I wlu 

for our wanta, aud in giving us notice of the enemy'? 
movements and furnishing ua with guides where 
necessary ; and especially mtli the caie lavished on our 
wounded by the kindly Lombard women. The way 
we were received at Vai'ese on the night following that 
of our crossing, is a thing very difEcult to describe. Jt 
was raining heavily, yet I am sure that not a single 
citizen, mait, woman, or child, was missing when we 
entered. It was a toucliing sight to behold people and 
eoldiers mingled together in %vild embraces. Matrons 
and maidens, tlu'oving aside their natural reserve, flung 
tliemselves on the necks of our rough soldiers in feverish 
excitement. Not that all my comrades were rough ; 
gome of them, indeed, belonged to the lirst families of 
Lombaiily and other provinces. But all were Italians — 
vowed, as at Pontida, to the sacred covenant of their 
country's dclivei-auce. 

This manifestation of enthusiasm on the part of the 
people of Varese — the first of the kind we met with iii 
thia period — was all the more satisfactory to us, as we 
knew for certain tiiat it M'as entirely spontaneous, and 
unmixed with Iiu-ed applause — with voices of spies or 
police officials. 

\Vliat, after all, are hardships, privations, and dangers, 
when thus compensated by the affectionate gratitude 
of a iiiition in process of deliverance ? Let cold egotiata, 
insatiable traffickers iu nations, contemplate tlii» 
sight, and if they are Jiot touched, let them renounce 
their claim to be reckoned among tlie human family, of 
wliich they are unworthy to form part. 

Vareae had palled down the imperial coloura before 
oar ai-rlval, and substituted the national flag, disarming 
a tew gendarmeH and imperial officers. We were in a 
friendly and enthusitiBtic town, which, compromised as 
it ■was, we were under the obligation of defending ; 
iliougU no great defence Vi6s possible, mth 3000 men 
opposed to the immense Austrian army. Besides, being 
obliged to stand on the defensive in a town, we lost that 
facility of rapid movement — unforeseen, secret, and not 
to bo calculated on — in which lay our real importance 
on the enemy's flank. 

Varesc has some strong positions (Biumo, for ex- 
ample), and might have been defended by a superior 
force, had it — as it cUtl not — possessed some fortifications. 
Barricades were erected at the principal entrances, and 
we began to arm some of the citizens with weapons 
taken hy tliemselves from the enemy. 

Urban was the Austrian general destined for our 
extermination. The first news I had of this ferocioua 
enemy, coming from the direction of Brescia, was that 
be commanded 40,000 men. There were Austrians at 
Laveno, and another coi'ps advancing from Milan — one 
might liave been excused for shuddering at the situation. 

The obligation we were under to defend Varese, and 
save it from the vengeance of Urban, who was said to be 
inexorable, caiised me some apprehension. Had I been 
free to move in any direction outside the town, I should 
have had little fear of the enemy's uiunbei-s ; hut there 
waa nothing very i-eassuring in being forced to awut 
them at a £xed point in an unfortified town witliuut a 


single gun, wliich could therefore make Uttle or no 
preparation for serious resistance. 

However, there was no help for it ; for many reasons 
Vareae could not be abandoned, and we had to decide 
on awaiting the enemy there at any cost. Once we had 
decided, every feeling of fear vanished. 

Colonel Medici, with the second regiment, occupied 
the open space where the Como road ended — that is to 
say, our left; Colonel Arduino, the centre, with the 
third ; and Colonel Cosenz. with the fii-st, was on our 
tight — that is, on the liigli-rond from Milan. I was on 
the heights of Upper Biumo, with tlie reserves. 

It was known that Urban liad arrived at Como, and 
that other movements of troops, doubtlesa designeil tt> 
co-operate with him, were taking place from MQau. 

Medici, who to irreproachable courage unites a higU 
degree of military sagacity, had covered his wing witli 
all the works that could be erected in so short a space 
of time ; and it was well he did so, that point being 
the objective upon which Urban directed the full weight. 
of bis attack. 

On the morning of Maj- 25, when it was scarcely 
light, the enemy's column was discovered, advancing o» 
Vai-ese by the Como road. Captain Nicolb Siizini, who 
had been sent with his company to form an ambuscade 
about a mile from the city, in a large biuliling overlook- 
ing the road, was the first to receive them, which he did 
with great courage, but, after doing a little shooting at 
short range, retired to a position on our right. 

After ovei'coming tliis first obstacle. Urban formed 



Ilia attacking column along the road, and, sending fop- 
ward some linea of sliarpsliootei-s, dashed it against our 
left wing. 

But our men were in a position prepared beforehand 
in cool blood by experienced officers ; they were supported 
by two companies of the first regiment from Marroc- 
chetti's battalion, and the conflict lasted but a abort 

After having let them come close np, our gallant 
racaalori of the second regiment, cheered on by the 
brave Medici and Sacchi, sprang out from their shelter, 
and charged the Austrian soldiers with the bayonet, 
rnaldng tliem go down the road much faster than they 
hod come up it. 

I had imagined that the attack would not be limited 
t») our left front iilone, and that, according to all the 
rules for attacking a jMisition like that of Varese, they 
ought to have moved their main forces backwards, or to 
the high ground north of Eiumo, though they might, if 
they wished, have made feints on the high-road on our 
left. Urban, instead of this, seized the bull by the 
horns — which was all the better for us, since, few as we 
were, we could not atford to be distracted by a com- 
bined attaek on various points at once, especially on 
the side nearest Milan, where the enemy's forces were 

From the heights of Biumo, wlipre I had placed my 
tiead-quiirlers (the position being a commanding one, 
and of great value for overlooking a battle-field), I was 
perfectly aware of every movement on our own l>art, and 

I ana 


on that of the enemy ; tlie rear — tliat is, the northern 
portion of the ground, which I couKl not see — I caase<l 
to be reconnoitred by Captain Simonetta, who I was 
perfectly sure would jierform the duty well. 

Having assured myself that notliiug was lieing 
attempted except the front attack on our left, I de- 
scended from Biumo, anil gave orders for a part of the 
brigivde to piirsne the enemy, while the rest was to 
continue t!ie movement in goud order. 

The enemy, with two gune which they had used at 
the attack of, and a detachment of guides 
escorting the same, halted at every convenient spot, but 
continued their retreat on the first appearance of our 
force, thougli it is difficult to pursue, without ordnance 
or cavalry, an enemy whose force is com^Msed of all 
three brauches of the se.rvice. 

It was not till they reached the position of San Sal- 
vatore, beyond Malnate, that the Austrians began to 
make head against us. At tliis point an obstinate combat 
took place, in which many shots were exchanged, and the 
gallant (Jenoese carbineers specially distinguished them- 
selves ; tJie enemy being on one side of a deep ditch at 
right angles to tlie road, and we on tlie other. We 
had more men wounded in this last than in the first 
fight, the enemy's position being higher than ours, and 
thickly woodetl. 

The enemyj elated with tiiis advantage, procured by 
the superiority of their cannon and small arms, ad\-ance(l 
an infantry corps, which charged onr left energetically, 
and made it fall back some distanc-e. But our side. 



having occupied fanu-buildiiigs overlookiiij; that part of 
the hnttle-field, and seeing tliemselvea supported by the 
reaerves marching up to tlieir assistance, charged thd 
«nemy with a vigour which drove thcni int-o the ditch, 
whence they did not reappear. 

The position occupied by the Austrian^ on tlie other 
side of this ditch was a formidable hul-. overlooking 
the road. It was rash to attack it in front, and I 
tried to think of a way to turn it. This was not impoa- 
sible, aa we had remained in quiet possession of tlie 
cowhouse wliich, overlooking our left, and affording us 
almost a complete cover, would allow us to cross the 
upper part of the ditch, and turn tlie enemy's right 
flank unhindered. 

I had decided on adopting thia last expedient, when 
I was tbunderstruck by the news that a strong column 
iif the enemy was marching towards Varese, on our 
left. I was most deeply mortified, and kept saying to 
myself, "Can it be possible that Frban'a flight was 
nothing but a atratagem \" I was extremely annoyed, 
and lost no time in sentling orders to Colonel Coaenz, 
who commanded the reserve, to march at once oil 
Varese, occupy it, and defend it tft the very utmost. 
I made a flank march with my brigade, on the lieights 
to the left, to deceive tlie enemy, who would be unable 
to tell whether or not such a mareli was undertaken to 
turn their flank ; and when I had got out of siglit 
l)ehind the mountain, turned off to the left by a iiatli 
which leads to Malnate, where the men were aasenibled 
in order to march on Varese without loss of time. TliP 


news that the enemy's column was marcliiiig on Vare-w 
being confirmi-d, I was somewhat surprised, for this 
column had not only been seen by peasants and common 
soldiers, but by superior officers. At last we reached 
Varese, and no more was said about it ; the idea 
vanished amid tlie acclamations of the kindly people, 
and was, like a black cloud, driven away by the enthu- 
siasm of the citizens. 

I imagine that the column really existed after all. 
and think that the matter must have tuken place in 
this way : Urban, attacking our left at Varese with Ids 
main body, must have sent the force which had been 
seen, and of winch we had heard at San Salvatore, to 
turn' our flank and act conjointly with him. Tliis 
stratagem had the same result as many by night, and 
some by day, in places where the ground, as in the 
present case, is not well known. A combined night- 
attack of several columns needs, in order to be success- 
ful, many favourable circumstances, and a thorough 
knowledge of the country, with good guides, unimpeach- 
able skill on the part of the leaders of the columns, 
experienced soldiers, and, finally, a piece of ground 
with fewer obstacles than that which extends from 
Varese to Como and, lieyond, to the Alps; as, if one 
leaves the road in tlus part of the country-, either to 
right or left, the by-paths to be found are extremely 
intricate. Such, I think, was the reason for the appear- 
ance of the strange column, which was nothing else but 
a force that liad lost its way. Destined to turn uur 
left flank, and finding itself entangled among unknown 



<1itches, it had attempte*! to get out of them by moving, 
now in one direction, now in another, till at last the 
men, utterly tired out, had thrown themselves down iji 
some hidden valley to rest. This was the conclusion I 
tirrived at from the various reiwrta I iieard as to the 
enemy's force; aud, if our own people had not been 
tired out, I would certainly have pursued that stray 
column, with a strong probability of overtaking and 
capturing it. 

Such things happen in our land, where the priests 
tfll the peasants that heaven is their country, not the 
Italy they teach tlieiu to hate ; while they teach them 
to curse the Libemls as heretics, and to bless their 
ekauvin or Austrian deliverers! Even to-day, unfor- 
tunately — I say it with deep bitterness of aoul — the 
same thing would happen, because the priest is not 
kept in his place ; to-day, as much as ever, lie teaches 
love for the foreigner, and hatred of Italy ! If that 
robber-band of Austrians liad found themselves, instead, 
in a place where the peasant is taught to love a country 
which makes him prosperous, they would certainly 
kave lieen dispersed and forced to lay down their arms. 

All our O'lvn and the Austrian wounded were collected 
tinil Bent to Varese. The prisoners, who might in 
justice have been forced to expiate with their blood 
the murder of our beloved comrades, Ciceruacohio 
Mnd Ugo Biissi, and ao many others, were, on the 
froutrary, treated with perhaps even greater care and 
kindness than our own men. Not tliat this is any 
i'redit to us; it is Italy's duty to show humanity 

flO AUTOBioasAPny of qiubeppe qasibaldt. 

towai'Ja her executioners. Ftirgiveness is the privilege 
(if great soula ; and our Leniitiful country will be truly 
great when once cured of the cruel plague of Jesuitry, 

We marched, then, with the whole brigade, on Vareae, 
to allow the men to get the rest of which they stood so 
gi-eatly in nee<l. 

Tliia was the first fight in wliich our Alpine caarialori 
took part, and in it tliey displayed a valour surpassing 
all previously formed expectations. Soldiara, for the 
most part young and unaccustomed tu figlitiug, liad 
faced regular troops trained to despise the Italians, and 
had put them to flight in each encouut^r. I augured 
well for the future from this first victor)-. 

Our losses find been comparatively insignificant as 
regards numbers, but important and painfully felt, 
considering tlie quality of the individuals lost. The 
greater number of those who followed me were not only 
well-educated young men of grtod family — tlmt was com- 
paratively a trifle, for the well-born and well-educated 
ought to do their duty by their country as well as 
the proletariat — but there were men of great artistic 
distinction serriug in the ranks as private soldiers. 

Dear and noble youth, the hope of Italy, wlio, in 
the epic of her re-surrection, as yet in the future, was t» 
supply the men wlio fought at Calataflmi, MonterotoDdo^ 
and DijoQ I 

N'ot a single complaint was heard among the wounded; 
and if ever a cry found utterance while surgical 
operations Were going on, it was tliat of " Viva 
V Italia ! " \Vlien a people's feelings reach this pitohj 



all the papal, foreign, ami domestic tyrants may pack 
up bag and baggage. 

Among the dead was also a son— the first she wa* 
to lose — of that womau for -whose sake posterity will 
forget the difference between tliia pitiful age and the 
glorious days of Greece and Kome ; I allude to the 
noble-hearted matron of Pavia, the mother of the 
Cairoli, Ernesto, the youngest of the tliree whom she 
had sent to the war, fell fighting, shot through tho 
dieat, on the corpse of an Austrian drummer, killed by 
his bayonet. I thought of the heavy sorrow of tliat 
mother, so devoted to her sons, so kind to all who 
wew happy enough to approach her. On the same day 
my eyes met those of the elder brother, Benedetto, a 
>ntllant and modest officer, dear to me as the rest of tlie 
family ; his eyes met mine, but not a word was spokeu 
by either of us. Only I read in that sad look the words, 
"My niotbur !" and thought of all the grief preparing 
for that noble heart. Aud how many others, whoaa 
mothers I did not know, lay mutilated or dying on 
that field of slaughter, only longing to see their heart- 
broken mothers" faces once more ! Poor young fellows I 
or rather happy ones, whose blood was redeeming 
Italy from her long slaverj', and for ever ! 

The noble-hearted women of Vui-ese made up for 
the absence of parents, as far aa our wounded were 

Women of Italy! — I write it with deep emotion; would 
you believe it? — I could not tell you about Signora 
Uairoli without tears. It is weakness, take it as you 


■will ; yet I liave 3eeu a good deal in my time, of battle- 
fields, wounded and dying men, corpses, and now — 
forgive me the presumption of saying so — I no longer 
feel as strong as I was at twenty, tliough still as fiery 
of soul as then, whenever I get a chance of raging for 
tliia sacred land of ours. God grant I may close my 
life repeating as my last words, " All Italy is free ! " 

Yea, the women of Varese supplied a mother's place to 
<iur wounded ; and, it must be confessed, even our 
enemies shared their pious care. I am not sure whether 
the fight at Varese took place on tlie 25th or the 26th 
of May, though I feel certain that it was on the 27th 
we marched to Como. 

I knew the advantage to be gained by attacking an 
«nemy tlirown into confusion by a first defeat, how- 
ever strong he may be, and did not wish to lose the 
opportunity of bo doing. We left Varese, therefore, for 
Como, on the morning of May 27, by the CavaUasca 
road, reaching the latter village after midday. The 
men had done a gi'eat deal of marching, and were tired ; 
but the hour was propitious. At nightfall one can 
attack- even a superior force with comparatively little 
danger, especially in a moimtainous jtosition like that 
which was to be the scene of our enterprise, where the 
enemy's cavalry and artilleiy could be of little use. 

I therefore let the men rest, anrl began to make all 
possible inquiries about the enemy's numliei-s, and the 
positions occupied by them ; and, receiving intelligence 
that they were in force in the strong jwaition of San 
Fenuo (which I at once concluded to be tlie key to all 



the rest), I directed sevei-al companies, under the orders- 
of tlie brave Captain Cenni, to turn this position on the 
right. Om- second regiment was to attack in front, a» 
soon OS the flanking companies should have had time 
to reach the enemy's flank. The apiMinted time heing 
over. Colonel Medici, with his usual gallantry, attacked 
the position in front, while Cenni, with the companies- 
above mentioned, did so in flank. 

The enemy Iwre up bravely against our attack, and 
fought with obstinate valour. The position was strong, 
commaniUng, and well fortified, so tliat the fight went 
on with the greatest fierceness for about an hour. At 
last, aurroundeil on all sides, the Austrians began try 
break and fly, and some of them surrendered. 

This first longed-for success made us masters of all 
the dominant positions, whicli was well ; for the Austrians 
were advancing in force from Camerlata and Como, to 
the assistance of their detachments on the higher ground. 

Metlici on the iTght, and Cosenz on the left, sujijKJiled 
by a few companies of the third regiment under the 
gallant Majora Hixio and Quintini, repulsed the enemy 
at all points. 

The fire of the brave Genoese carbineers, with their 
improved weapons, contributed greatly to the successful 
issue of the day. The enemy were numerous, and our 
brave caccUttori had nothing in their favour but the 
superiority of the ground gained in their first rush, 
The Austrians were indeed repulsed; but, in a moun- 
tainous region like the one where we were fighting, they 
could always find a position to maintain themselves 


in, and Bometimes one enabling them to beat back oiir 
soldiers when they presseil them too closely. 

The same configuration of the ground prevented wa 
from overlooking the whole of the battle-field at once, 
and often we only had intelligence of a partial engage- 
ment tlu'ough the firing heard. 

Fi-om the heights, the enemy's strong resen'e conlil 
be seen drawn up in good order in the underlying plain, 
and also their artillery — twelve gims — which was of no 
use to them. After the fighting jxiat described, as night 
was coming on, I attempted to assemble our scattei-ed 
forces, separated from each other by the inequalities of 
the ground and the complex nature of the fighting. 

The brigade being all collected, we immediately 
marched along the road which runs in a zigzag course 
down to Como, the enemy retreating as we advanced. 
At Borgo San Vito we halted to make inquiries, but 
it was difficult to find any inhahitanta, as they had all 
disappeared, in fear of ill-usage. At last we resolved 
to enter the town. 

The people, terrified from the first, and not knowing 
to wliich army tlie invaders belonged, as the night was 
very dark, kept their doora and windows closed, and 
not a soul was to be seen. But when they discovered 
by our accent that we were Italians, their brothers, 
there took place a scene wliich beggars description, and 
ought to have had the sun shining on it. It was likt^ 
the explosion of a mine ; in a flash the town was lit up, 
the windows crowded with people, and the streeta almost 
Mocked. All the bells sounded the tocsin at once, and 


contributed not a little, 1 tliiuk, to tbe consternation of 
the flying enemy. 

Who can tIesL'ribe the toucliing seeno witnesaed at 
Como that night, and who can remember it without 
emotion ? The people were frantic. Men, women, 
children, had seized upon my soldiers — embraces, tears, 
shrieks, delirium, were the order of the night. The 
few horsemen, marching with me at the head of the 
column )iad to make serious eifoi'ts not to be over- 
thrown and pulletl out of their saddles, especially by 
the girls, whose beauty seemed to authorize tliem to 
assume tlie mastery over theij- deliverers. 

There was no certain intelligence of the enemy. 
Some said they were (inartered in such or such a place ; 
others, that they were on the march towards Camerlata. 
The fact is, that wliile we wei-e entering on one side 
they were leaving hy the other, and not finding them- 
selves secure at Camerlata, they proceeded in con- 
fusion towards Milan, leaving behind them, in the 
depdte at Camerlata, a great quantity of victuals and 

The poor gallant Alpine rafiiiUori bivouacked about 
the streets and squares of Conio, and had gt>od reason to 
be tired ; for, leaving Vai-ese in the morning, they had 
marched all day, and afterwards fought and marched 
half the night. Tins was a wonderful feat for young 
fellows quite unused to tbe fatigues of campaigning. 
Only patriotic enthusiasm could have kept them on 
their feet. I, who was a tough old veteran, after 
liavtng arranged the formation of some barricades at the 


end of the ati-eet nearest Camerlata, und Iiaviog looked 
with affectionate emotion at my ■weary comrades- 
stretclied out in the streets and Sf[nare8, accepted for a 
moment tlie shelter offereil me in, I think, the Kovelli' 

The enemy had received a heavy hlow. From the 
nature of the ground, from the various lights tliat had 
taken place, and from the fact of niglit having overtaken 
us, it was to be supposed — which was, in fact, the case — 
that Uiey were much scattered, and therefore demoralized. 
However, convinced that they had alx)ut 9000 men, 
twelve guns, and a respectahle cavalry force, while we- 
liad less than 3000 men, with a few mounted gmdes, and 
not a single cannon ; and considfriny the position of 
Como, in a depression surrounded on all aides hy formid- 
able heights ; — I was quite right to occupy my mind with 
what might happen on the following day, if we had b> 
deal with an enter^jrising enemy. All these thoughts 
ilisturbed my short iutei-val of re]K)se, and the dawn 
found me riding towards Camerlat.1, to get intelligence' 
of the enemy. They had evacuated that imimrtant 
point — such was the sum of the information I received ; 
and it was very welcome, my brave fellows being so 
worn out that it was not desirable they should liave to 
figlit tliat day. We occupial and gaiTisoned Camerlata 
imd the auxiatffri rested all day, to their gi-eat satis- 

The victory hail been dearly iiurchaseiL Our dead 
and wounded were not many, but such as we could ill' 
spare. The gallant De Cristoforis had paid with his Uf» i 



for the impetuous daring witli wliich he led hia company 
to the front attack on the position of San Fermo, and 
his loss was one which we felt cruelly. Young, hand- 
some, modest as a girl, he IiuJ all the gifts wliich go to 
make heroes and great captains. De Cristoforia was 
from the same district as Anzani, Daverio, and Manara ; 
bom, like them, in an enslaved country, he had, like 
them, proved that a people which produces men of 
that stamp must he the slave of none. As was the 
case with these others, his personal courage was a 
slight thing compared with ttie choice qualities of soul 
which adorned him. The country of the Scipios and 
the Gracchi, the nation which records in its annals the 
Vespers and Legnano, may be turned from the right 
way, crushed down for a moment — for a moment trodden 
underfoot by foreign arrogance, or prostrated liy the 
coDtagious corruption of impoBtors — but it will never 
want sons to astonish tlie world. 

And Pedotti ! He had not the presence of De Crieto- 
foiis, being of insignificant stature, but was of like 
valour ; and he too had paid liis tribute to his countrj', 
when be lay dead among the brave men who led the 
front attack. Pedotti, too, formed part of that chosen 
band of young Lombards belonging to the fir.'it families, 
who had come to swell the ranks of tlie volunteers at 
the very beginning of the enlistment. He first spent 
hia money lavishly in the purchase of arms, and after- 
wards gave his life for his country, failelheri too, 
second to none of the band in gallantry, had from 1848 
onward been found wherever there was fighting going ou 

08 AUTOBiooPApny of oiusefpe oabibaldi. 

for Italy. Brave young hearts ! the lives you gave so 
freely form the eternal foundation on which will be 
built up the country you loved so well ; and the women of 
coming generations will tell their children of your glori- 
ous deeds, and teach them to bless your sacred names. 

I have forgotten the names of many of my comrades 
■wto fell in that truly glorious action, in which a few 
Tftw and inexperienced lads scattered, with their im- 
petuous onset, the far more numerous ranks of tlie 
ferocious Urban, who fled as far as Monza without 
turning back to see who had defeated him. 

The posisession of Como improved our situation by 
the acquisition of means of every kind— of credit, and 
of reinforcements in men and arms. The steamers, 
thanks to the good-will of the company and of their 
commanders, were ours, so that we were masters of tha 
lake. All the villages of the lake, and the diatricts of 
Leeco and the Valtellina, had pronounced in our favour; 
everywhere men were asking for weapons to join in the 
patriotic enterprise. We were, however, still in want 
of arms, and yet more of ammunition, a great deal 
having been consumed in the preceding fights ; and not 
only were we at a distance from Piedmont, our base of 
operations, but communication with it might be said 
to be almost entirely cut ofl'. The patriotism of some of 
the citizens made up for the want of communication 
with Piedmont as regards news ; but as to arms and 
ammunition, it waa difficult, if not impossible, to get 
them. This put it into my head to approach the Lago 
Maggiore once more, and at the same time attempt a 


amp de main on Laveno. The Alpine cncdntori were 
therefore aoon on the road again from Como to Varese. 
Major Bixio, a distinguished and resolute officer — one 
of those, like C'osenz and Medici, to whom the arrange- 
ment of any enterprise may be entrusted, in the 
certainty that they will do their duty^was instructed 
to advance and reconnoitre Laveno ; but the intended 
attack did not fall to hia share, aa, when I approached 
that point, it was suggested to me that the operation 
might be supported frf)m the lake, and Bixio was the 
best man to be placed in charge of any manoeuvre to be 
executed on the water, aa, in addition to his gallantry 
as a soldier, he was an experienced captain. 

Bematning but a short time at Varese, we marched 
to Gavirate; and afterwards foheloned the brigade 
from Ga\Tratc to Laveno. I might have attempted a 
serious night-attack on Laveno with the whole of my 
troops; but I knew, from intelligence I had received, 
that Urban was on our track with gi-eatly increased 
forces, and was therefore firmly resolved not to engage 
■with ray whole strength, having a formidable enemy 
at a short distance in the rear. I therefore confined 
myself to a partial surprise, and entrusted it to two 
companies of the first regiment, under the orders of 
Captains Bronzetti and Landi. Major Marrocchetti 
was to support them with the rest of the battalion, and 
Colonel Cosenz with tlie rest of tlie regiment. In the 
mean time, I had received two small mountain 
howitzers and two light cannon, with some ammunition, 
under the charge of the gallant Captain CrizioltL 


100 AOTOBioasApar of qivseppe oasibaldi. 

The operation on Laveno did not succeed. Captain 
Landi, who was tlio firat to attack, entered the fort 
about one in the morning, with a acore or so of men ; 
but, not being followed by the rest of the company, was 
obliged to evacuate it — the rather as he himaelf was 
severely wonnded. Captain Bronzetti, being led astray 
by his guides, did not arrive in time to take part in the 
attack ; so that our men were driven back, and obliged 
to take position again in the open, where it was easy 
tot the enemy to wound some of them by shots from 
beliind the parapets. If the rest of the company had 
entered with Captain Landi, and been immediately 
followed by the other company under Bronzetti, the 
fort, with about eighty Austriana, would ceitainly have 
remained in our hands. Having taken this fort, wliicli 
commanded all the other positions, and the steamers, I 
could easily have occupied Laveno, and thus kept open 
the communication with Piedmont, 

Not only was the assault on the fort a failure, bat 
also that from the lake with the steamers. Major 
Bixio having been unable to induce the revenue boats 
on the Fiedmontese side to accompany him. We there- 
fore had to think of retreat as soon as the enemy, 
perceiving, at dawn, that our attack was uusuccessfnl, 
opened a tremendous fire on the retreating companies 
and the reserves. The forts and the steamers kept up 
a desperate cannonading, as if in revenge for the fright 
they had had during the night. Tliey tireii off rockets 
— the favourite plaything of the Austrians — in enormous 
quantities. A plaything indeed, for never in my life 

have I seen man or animal wounded by one of these 
bugbears. The wish of the Austrians being to rule 
Italy through fear, their favourite weapons have been 
rhese rockets, which frighten without doing any 
injury, and fire, which both frightens and injures. Let 
our countrymen bear this in mind ! I hope that those 
populations who, to their sorrow, are still saddled with 
these tyrants, will get rid of them as quickly as possible ; 
and then we shall see no more of the rockets or con- 
flagrations. But if, perchance, matters should take a 
different turn, let us remember the rockets, the burning 
towns, and the murders they have committed. 

South of Laveno there is a wooded height, which 
overlooks all the positions of that town, as well as its 
harbour on the lake. I had sent the little artillery we 
liad to this spot, where it served to keep the steamers at 
a distance. So that our retreat was made in pretty 
good order. 

Captain Londi behaved with his usual gallantry. 
Having led the van of his company right into the 
fortress— the darkness of the night, perhaps, being the 
reason why the rest lost their way — he remained there, 
severely wounded. If Bronzetti, likewise a man of 
perfect courage, had been as fortunate, the succoss of 
the enterprise would have been assured. Lieutenant 
Spegazzini and Spaniieri were also wounded while 
fighting bravely. 

On the evening of the same day, I was informed that 
Urban had entered Varese. This was somewhat of a 
check to my plans. I was cut off from Como, and there 


waa no time to be lost. I threw myself into Val C'urijt 
with my brigade, and, crossing Val Gana, descended 
in sight of Varese, and reached the foot of Biumo 
Superiore with the vanguard. 

Night was coming on, so that we could attack the 
enemy without much risk, and with a secure retreat 
into the stroug positions of Val Gana in case of failure. 

From the heights overlooking Varese on the north, 
I had made accurate obserTations of all the positions 
occupied by the enemy ; and from what I could see. 
the latter seemed to me to be very numerous, though 
fewer than represented by the inhabitants — not less 
tlmn twelve or fifteen thousand, I could see their 
artillery, and could also see that— as waa natural — they 
had occupied all the dominant positions. 

My wish to attack Urban and liberate Varese was 
very great ; but 1 knew that the Austrian general would 
be willing to avenge on the poor inhabitants any 
defeat he might sustain, and also that it was quite in 
his power to do so. AU things considered, I did not 
attack, but resolved to lead the brigade back to Como. 

At Malnate there was also an Austrian corps, so 
that we could not follow the main road Iiom Varese to 
Como, and I was obliged to proceed by a more inoim- 
tainous path, wliich, thanks to the excellent guides I 
obtained from ihapodeMa of Arcisate, we were able to 
traverse, in spite of a deluge of rain, which continued 
without a single minute's interiuissiou through our 
whole march. This was a new proof of the courage and 
endurance of my young comrades. 



We passed within a short distance of Malnate, but 
in such a storm, that we were in no danger of coming 
upon Austrian scouts. The column liad been stretched 
out to its greatest length, and once I attempted to 
check tlie leading ranks, but found it impossible ; it 
was only by continuing our march that we could at all 
bear up against the storm and the cold, wliich were 
very trying to my poor fellows. It was a long and 
toilsome march ; several streams and torrents, swollen 
by the rain, were difficult to cross, especially for the 
rear of the column, and the waggons. 

At last we readied Corao, where, as the good inhabi- 
tants welcomed our caasiatori i^ith their usual kindness, 
past dangers and fatigues were soon forgotten. Our 
return to Couio, however, did not take place a day ton 
soon, as the people of the district were becoming 
disheartened through our absence. All kinds of false- 
hoods had been put in circulation by the Austrians 
and their masters in this craft, the priests, who showed 
an especial talent in makii^ masses of hostile troops 
appear and disappear at every point of the horizon. 

The municipal authorities of the town had retreated 
to the lake, as well as several companies whom 1 had 
left beldnd when starting for Laveno. Tlie wounded 
also haii been transferred to Menaggio, which •v/aa most 

All this had frightened the inhabitants. If any hostile 
force, however small, had appeared at C'omo during our 
absence, the place would have returned to its Austrian 
subjection. This news was brought me by a beautiful 


and high-spirited young girl, who drove out from Como 
to tell me of the deplorable state of the town, and 
entreat my speedy return, and appeared to me, in her 
carriage, like a lovely vision, on the road between Euba- 
rolo and Varese, while I was marching on the latter 
town to attack Urban. 

At Como, works of defence were planned on all 
important and commanding points in the en^-irons, 
and the population lent themselves with alacrity to the 
work; but the battle of Mt^nta, which took place 
about this time, completely altered the aspect of aEFaira. 
That battle, as was natural, electrified the public mind, 
and made our position easier, while that of Urban, at 
Varese, had become very critical ; indeed, with a few 
more thousands, we should have had no difficulty in 
making him lay down his arms. However, considering 
that my brigade at that time consisted of about 2000 
men capable of fighting, I certainly could not run the 
risk of being crushed by throwing myself in tlie way 
of an enemy who so far outnumbered us. In spite of 
these considerations, I had, it is true, one morning 
I'esolved to throw my corps across the roads which 
Urban had to follow in order to fall back on Monza; 
but I abandoned the plan for viu-ioua reasons, chiefly 
because Urban, knowing that we were on the Monza 
road, would have taken that to Como, the most im- 
portant, and the safest for ua, fiwm every point of 

As the steamers had made us masters of the Lake 
of Como, there was no longer a single poiat on the lake 

retuhn to political life. 


wliere the ablion-ed Austrian colours had not been 
hauled down, and the tricolour hoisted in their stead. 
The important town of Lecco opened up to us the great 
roaJ of the Valtellina, and also that to the east, leadini; 
to Bergamo and Brescia, with which towns our gallant 
Gabriele Camozzi waa already in close communication. 

Gabriele Camozzi is one of those fine characters in 
whom Italy was rich at the time of her revolutionary 
simple — characters which one is always fortunate in 
finding, and whicli, just at critical moments, are sure 
to make their appearance in gome Btrildng manner. 
I had seen him for the first time at Bergamo, and had 
been strongly attracted by that winning, modest, and 
resolute countenance. The attraction proved mutual, 
for, in the hotir of need, I founii Camozzi ready with 
10,000 franca, to help me in my straitened circumstances. 

About the time of the battle of Novara, we find 
Camozzi in the neighbourhoad of Bergamo, collecting 
three or four hundred men, many of them his own 
tenants, to march to the aasiatance of Brescia — the 
heroic city whose people were fighting to the knife 
against the numerous and well-trained soldiers of 
Anstria, keeping up the conflict for several days. A 
sublime example which, had it been followed by all 
Italian cities, would ere this have taught our insolent 
neighbours that this land is no longer their country 
residence, and that there is no power on earth capable 
of subduing a nation which possesses such sons. 

Yes, Camozzi and his comrades marched alone to 
ancconr the valiant people of heroic Brescia. It was a 


I 1 UQ 1 

Doble act of impetuoua courage, this attempt to help and 
cheer their brethren in danger and conflict, or at least 
to share their unhappy fate. I was at a distance when 
I heard this about Camozzi, and was deeply touched 
with admiration and respect (1849). 

To-day (1872) Italy ought no longer to fear foreign 
invasion. Who on earth can conquer a nation able to 
arm over two million citizens? Uut none the less is 
it a good tiling to recall the example of the gallant 

Gabriele Camozzi, as already mentioned, was in corre- 
spondence with Bergamo and the aurronndiJig villages. 
It is therefore superfluous to say how valuable his co- 
operation waa to me. 

1 have already indicated above the reasons which 
prevented my throwing myself on Urban's line of 
retreat. Not having embraced that resolution, yet 
unwilling to remain idle, I contemplated operations on 
the line of Lecco, Bergamo, and Brescia, as being better 
suited to our usual mode of action, and the slender 
force to which the brigade was reduced,. 

We continued to encourage insurrections in such 
important places as these, while always keeping our 
own liberty of action. Having, therefore, decided on 
tills last plan, I began to embark part of the brigade 
on board the steamers from Lecco. At that moment I 
received a communication from General Fanti, asking 
nie whether I thought it possible to operate against 
Urban conjointly with the forces commanded by him. 
I do not know who brtmgUt this communication, but as 



I liid not see the messenger, anil wus not askeil to seiid 
an answer, I continued my march towards Bergamo, 
leaving to tlie allies the task of pursuing Urban, then 
in retreat for Monza and the Adda. 

yrom Lecco we continued our march for Bergamo, 
where the Austrians were. On the way we took 
prisoner an Austrian officer, wlio was making a circuit 
of the neighbourhood to exact a contribution of 
12,000 zwanzigers, threatening, in case of refusal, the 
destruction of the villages — a fre<|uent compliment on 
ihe part of these gentle masters, accustomed t^j put 
their tlireata into immediate execution. This time 
tliey were paid in the iron coin with which Camilliis 
paid the Gauls in Rome. 

On approaching Bei^'amo, at an early hour in the 
morning, we heard from the inhabitants that the enemy 
were just evacuating the city, and that, however quickly 
we might march, we could not come up with them. 

We occupied Bergamo, where we found some guns 
and a great quantity of amtBunition, though the enemy 
had attempted to destroy everything. 

A curious incident occurred at Bergamo. At the 
beginning of our occupation, we received notice from 
the railway station that a uorpa of 1000 men was 
leaving Milan to reinforce the garrison of Bergamo, 
1 assembled the brigade in the station, hiding the men 
in the cuttings and the various buildings, as well as 
at all points in the neighbourhood that could be occu- 
pied with advantage. It was indeed quite true that 
H train full of Austrian troops was approaching, but 


a, fantonnitr of Austrian nationality, wfio happeneil 
to be at Seriate, about' two milea away, warned the 
enemy of our presence in Bergamo ; so that they diil 
not pursue their way, but stopped at Seriate, probably 
undecided what to do. 

Captain Bronzetti, sent with hia company to recon- 
noitre in that dii-ection, resolutely charged and ronted 
the Austrian force, though ten times as numerous ns 
his own. When I arrived, with some troops to support 
Bronzetti, the Austrians had disappeared. Let this 
prove to onr countrymen that such masters as these 
certainly did not deserve to have us as slaves ; and also 
serve as a specimen of the demoralized state of tlu^ 
murderers of Ugo Ba.'fsi and Ciceniacehio. 

We had a few men wounded in this truly extra- 
ordinary encounter, among them the brave Lieutenant 
Gualdo, who was obliged to have his leg amputated. 

We did not remain long at Bergamo, hut, hearing 
that the enemy were levying contributions on the 
village of Bassa, marched down with the brigade, and 
succeeded in saving the poor peasants from depredation. 
After this we went on towards Palazzolo, whither I hn<i 
sent on Cosenz with his regiment. Having reached 
Palazzolo, and hearing that the enemy was on the 
Brescia road, 1 determined to hasten our march to that 
city, which, as I leamt from some messengers who 
came to bring me the news, and ask for help in the 
name of the Brescians, had already been evacuated, but 
feared a return of the enemy, who were still in the 



My poor cafciatori had reached Palazzolo tired out 
by forced marches, but I counted on their gallant spirit, 
and not in vain. I bad inquiries made by the com- 
manding officer of each corps, in order to find out 
whether the men felt able to go on as far as Brescia 
the same night, and with one voice the cry was raised 
by these brave champions of Italy. " To Brescia ! to 
Brescia!" So that about 9 p.m. they were again on 
the march, with the same readiness and cheerfulness as 
ever, forgetful of hardships and weariness. My brave 
young comrades I At this very moment while I write 
of you. thus giving you the only proof of affection in 
my power just now, you are Ktposed to the abuse and 
mia represents lion of pedantry and envy, — of the men 
who did little or ui.itiiing for Italy, wliile you were 
doing all that patriots could. At this moment the place 
of your gallant officers is taken by the Thersites 
of the Italian Iliad, who revel gorgeously, while the 
greater number, and the best, of our friends, rejected as 
if they had been enemies, are wandering and begging 
their bread through those same districts where, by your 
side, they fought the plunderer of our land. Well, my 
poor, noble brothers-in-arma. our country cannot refuse 
you her applause for the many glorious labours under- 
gone ; and she hopes that, in tlie hour of danger, though 
rejected and hardly treated hy scoundrels, you will yet 
return, with the same dash and the same alacrity, to 
fight against her enemies. Tliose who show so much 
interest in depreciating you, and putting out of sight the 
glorious uniform which dazzles them, and which so 



[WDorly adorned you at Varese, at Como, and at Seriate, 
cannot refuae to feel a certain admiration for your deeda, 
and above all for your endurance in bearing the hard- 
ships and fatigues of the forced marches from Varese to 
Como, and from Palazzolo to Brescia. 

Half-way from Palazzolo to Brescia, at & place whose 
name I do not rememlier, we found tlie enemy. We 
were not to attack, but to avoid them, as, with the small 
probability of success which their superior numbers 
afforded us, our enterprise would have been retarded by 
so doing. We therefore took a road to the left, which 
was very good, and not much longer. The Brescians, 
informed of our approach, sent out a quantity of car- 
riages to meet us and convey those too tired to walk ; 
and on the following morning we reached the city, 
where we found, as at Bergamo, the whole population 
assembled to welcome us, with even more enthusiasm — 
with an enthusiasm, indeed, which might be calletl 
Brescian ; that is to say, unique. 

Palermo, Genoa, Milan, Brescia, Messina, Bologna. 
Caaale ! when all Italian cities are resolved to treafc 
the enemies of your country as you have done, this our 
cooBtry will no longer be a land of masters and slaves, 
but of free men respected by all. 

In the citadel of Brescia, as in that of Bergamo, we 
found many guns and a great quantity of ammunition. 
We spent some days in this city, so as to let the men 
rest, and then marched on towards liezzate and the 
Chieee. It was thought that the enemy were retreating 
by way of these ]daces ; but the numerous patrols 


which approached the high-road from Brescia to Ponte 
San Marco, along which we were passing, indicated 
that they were still in force at Castenedolo. 

At Renzate, I recBJved from the King's head-quarters 
the order to occupy Lonato, with the notice that two 
cavalry rogimcnts and a battery of artillery, under the 
orders of General Sambuy, would be sent to assist me 
in this operation. 

With the enemy in force at Castenedolo, I certainly 
could not pass the Chiese at Ponte San Marco, and 
made inquiries as to a passage higher up. In conse- 
<jiience of the information received, I determined on 
repairing the bridge of Bettoletto, destroyed by the 
Austrians a few days hefore. 

The King's orders, though at first received with joy, 
placed me in some degree of embarrassment with regard 
to the regiments of cavalry and artillery which were to 
join and act in conjunction with us. By marcliing 
with the whole brigade to the Chieae, I should leave 
the high-road open ; and the artillery and cavalrj-, with- 
out our support, would then certainly be exposed to 
great danger. I therefore resolved to leave the first 
and second regiments Echeloned on the high-roail, 
fronting the enemy at Castenedolo, and keeping an eye 
on them, while I posted myself with jiart of the third, 
the company of Genoese Bersaglieri, the four [juns, and 
the Guides, on the Chiese, in onler to construct the 
bridge at Bettoletto. The bridge was nearly finished, 
when I received information that the enemy had 
attacked our two regiments left on the high-road. I 



left the worka at the bridge, and betook myself at ii 
(,'allop to the scene of action. 

The first regiment which had been attacked had, 
under the brave Colonels Cosenz and Tiin', repulsed the 
enemy with much gallantry, driving them back on 
their main body at Cast-enedolo; but, overcome by num- 
bers, had been obliged to beat a retreat, and it was in 
this state, and somewhat disordered, that I found it ou 
reaching the battle-field. 

Colonel Tiirr, who was on the left — tlie point 1 
reached — had been wounded and carried away from the 
field. With my Ijrave staif-oiGcera, Cenni, Trecchi, 
Merryweather, I restored some order among nur gallant 
c/icdatori. who once more made head against the enemy, 
but were again obliged to fall back before the superior 
weight of the Austrian foi-ce, wluch not only pressed 
them hard in front, but tried to turn their Hank and 
aurround them. The retreat, however, took place in 
good order, under cover of the second regiment, which 
had been siunmoued by Major Carrano, my chief of staff. 

Among the gallant officers who fell in this affair we 
had to deplore the loss of Major Bronzetti, who had 
earned, in all our encounters, the title of " Bravest of 
the Brave." He was carried off the field with tliree 
bullet-wounds, and died a few days later. 

Oradenigo, a descendant of the famous Venetian 
patricians, an officer of admirable bravery and coolness, 
bad been killed at the head of his men, while chai'ging 
the enemy, Apoiti, my former comrade at Eome and 
in Lombanly, as valiant in fight as he was gentle and 




lovable iu the ordinary intercourse of life, had falleii 
among the enemy, and was left beliind in the retreat ; 
lieing unable to move, on account of a broken thigh, 
which was amputated shortly afterwards. 

I do not know whether time will enable me to recall 
the names, for the present vanished from my memory, 
of 80 many of my brothers-in-amia, martyrs for Italy, 
who fought 90 gloriously, and fell on the Ijattle-field that 
day — a memorable one for the Alpine cacciatori. 

The engagement of this day, known as the fight of 
Treponti, was the most hardly contested and the most 
murderous in wliieli our first regiment — to whom the 
main honour of the day is due — took part. The second 
sustained the glory acquired in previous encounters ; 
Rud the companies of llic tlurd, under the brave Miyor 
Croce, showed tliemselves worthy to fight beside tUeir 
gallant comrades. 

Lieutenant Specchi was wounded in one arm while 
covering tlio retreat witli his usual braverj'. A detach- 
ment of the Genoese company, whicli I had led from 
the Chiese, arrived in time to support our men and 
signalize the coiu-age of that chosen band. Stallo, 
Burlando, Canzio, Mosto, Rosaguti, Lipari, distinguished 
themselves as usual. The Austriaus ceased to advance, 
and all the Alpine cliaaseur corps that had taken part 
in the conflict, tired as they were with tlie march and 
the sustained fighting, reconcentrated tliemselves on 
the liigh-road near Treponti, collecting the wounded. 

Tbia fight would not have taken place under such 
unfavourable coiiditiunB, had we not had the honour of 



being under direct orders from lieacl-ijuartera, -whicli 
obliged U8 to divide tlie brigade, leaving behind two- 
thirds, for the protection of the advancing cavalry and 
artillery, which never appeared at all. It was the first 
time in the campaign that I was in direct comnmnica- 
tion with the King's head-quartera, and certainly I had 
no reason to congratulate myself on the result. Did 
they, or did they not, know that Lonato was the head- 
quarters of the Emperor of Austria, and the centre nf 
an army of 200,000 men ! And, if they knew it, wliy 
send me to Lonato with 1800 ? To admit that the 
fact was not known, would be to have a very unfavour- 
able idea of the King of Sardinia's staff, who, whatever 
might be their other shortcomings, were not negligent 
in the employment of spies. And why promise to semi 
me two cavalrj' regiments and a Lattery, to secure the 
safety of which, my little brigade ran the risk of utter 
destruction, while all the time not only was nothing 
sent, but, from that day to this, I have never heard 
Another word of that cavalry and artillery ? Was it, 
then, a plot in which they wished to entangle me, to 
aecure the ruin of a handful of brave men who were 
too much for tlie nerves of certain great masters of the 
art of war. I hegan at last to be .convinced that tlie 
King's staff had wished to play off a joke upon us, but 
a somewhat tragic joke; and tliis showed me that it 
was an insane idea to want to occupy Lonato, and that 
I hatl better attend to our own affairs witliout awaiting 
■orders from above, I was confirmed in this opinion by 
the answer I received from General Cioldini when, iu 



the evening, I reported to him the day's events. He 
said,-"You will fare badly, if you trust to such men." 
It was therefore clear that I could only count on 
myself and my comrades for any further arrangements 
to save us from falling into the clutch of the enemy's 
army, which was still entire and not far off, as subse- 
quent events soon proved. During the action already 
described, having observed that the enemy were gaining 
ground on the right, I thought, with some reason, that 
they were trying to cut out our force on the Chiese, 
I therefore sent orders to Colonel Arduino to leave the 
bridge already constructed, and retire to the mountains, 
which were a short distance from Novolento. The 
colonel, taking my order too literally, not only retired on 
Novolento, but, having sent the artillery towards Brescia 
by way of Gavardo, took the mountain-paths with the 
infantry, and retreated in the same direction. 

Having given Colonels Cusenz and Medici the neces- 
eary directions for concentration on certain points, I Bet 
off at a gallop to join Arduino, and put liim in com- 
munication vfith the other corps, on the slopes of the 
mountains, which offered positions capable of being 
maintained against a superior force. 

Being just then without a staff, as Cenni's horse had 
been killed, and the rest whose horses were not tired 
out had already been sent away elsewhere, I went on 
alone, making inquiries of all the people 1 met. Almost 
all the inhabitants had either fled or hidden themselves, 
to escape the annoyances and depredations to which they 
were subjected both by friends and foes. Moreover. 

116 ADTOBioaBApnr of gwseppe qasibaldi. 

what ore called glorious battles have, naturally enough,, 
little iiitereat for tliose not immediately concerned ; and 
the rustic population has, liitherto at least, always, 
shown itself indifferent to Italian battles, even where 
we have not fouud it hostile. All the intelligeuce I 
obtained represented the men I was in search of as at 
a great distance, so that it was only thanks to my 
excellent mare, which had galloped all day, that I was 
able to overtake them. Without her I shoidd, to my 
great mortification, liave had to go on seeking that 
fraction of the brigade in the mountains near ISrescia 
for another whole day, or only come up with thcTn in 
the city itself. 

That evening, the brigade remained echeloned from 
Bezzate to Nuvolera and Nuvolcnta, while the king's 
army was advancing along the Krescia road, (ieneral 
Cialdini, with whom I was connected by ties of friend- 
ahip, had done his best, on hearing of our engagement at 
Treponti, to push on, being, as he was, in the van of the 
royal army. He told me that he had sent some of his 
light forces to supiiort us ; but they were worn out with 
the long inarch, and only arrived when the battle was 

We remained for some days ficheloned in the above- 
mentioned positions. Our presence, and the progress of 
our army, kept the population of Gavardo and Salb 
well-disposed ; and, moreover, the (iavardo people 
having restored the bridge over the Chiese, which also 
had been destroyed by the Austrians, I intended to 
push on to Salb, passing over this bridge. We therefore 




assembled all the Iiri^jade at Gavardo, passing the Chiese 
in the night, anil directed our match towards Salb. Major 
Bixio had orders to occupy this towii on the Lake of 
Garda with his battalion during the njglit ; and the 
brigade remained on the heights overlooking the north 
Toad, making its entry into 8al5 on the morning of the 
following day. 

"While arranging the project of marching towards tlie 
Lake of Garda, I had at the same time sent for some 
boats from the lakes of Oomo and Iseo, which arrived 
witJj ua at Salb. I had procured these boats under the 
not unnatural impression that the enemy, when abandon- 
ing the western side of the lake, would have withdrawn 
or destroyed the boats ; though we found afterwards that 
they had done neither the one nor the other, 

"We occupied Salb for several days, the most impor- 
tant event of our stay there being the destruction of an 
Austrian steamer. Wliile we were there, this vessel came 
every day to make observations, and for this purpose 
always backed into the innermost part of the harbour, 
keeping her Iww towards the entrance, so as to be ready 
for retreat in case of need. Having seen this mancBUvre 
take place every day, I asked the commander of a strong 
detachment of the army, which happened to l)e at Ga- 
vardo, for lialf a field battery, containing, among other 
piecea, two howitzers. The half-battery having arrived, 
I placed it on the right-hand side of the entrance to tlie 
harbour, !n a position that could not have been more 
suitable, had it been constructed on purpose. The pieces 
were placed on the lake-shore, and covered witli buslies, 


whicli completely coacealed tliora from outside, while 
leaving tlietn free to open fire on the lake in any 
direction. On the opposite side of the entrance to the 
harbour, I had sent the Genoese Bersaglieri under 
Captain Paggi, to hide among the bushes. The steamer 
entered the harbour, and, backing in the usual way, 
came within range of the Bersaglieri, who opened fire 
on it with their improved rifles. As a result of their 
fire, the steamer withdrew from that aide, alid approached 
the masked lialf-battery on ours. After a few shots 
from our gunners, fire was seen on hoard the steamer, 
which they did not succeed in extinguishing. The 
vessel attempted to gain the other side of the lake with 
all speed, hut did not succeed, sinking within a short 
distance. I am sorry not to remember the name of 
the brave artillery officer who pointed those guns, but 
glad to record here a word of praise for our Italian 
artiHery, certainly second to none in the world. 

Geiieral Cialdini, under whose orders I liad been 
. placed by the King, directed me to march into the 
Valtellina with my brigade. I sent forward Colonel 
Medici in this direction, and he collected all our detacli- 
meate withui reach of that valley, driving the Auatrians 
back on the Stelvio. 

I followed. with my brigade into the Valtellina, cross- 
ing the Lake of Como from Lecco to Colico by steamer. 
We occupied tlie valley as far as Bormio, whence 
Medici, pushing on towards the Stelvio, obliged the 
enemy to withdraw from Lombard soil. 

Our young Alpine cacciatori, led by Medici, Bixio, 

Sacchi, and others, gave fresh proofs of courage ami 
euduraiice in this new kind of warfare, among the, 
gorges and precipices of the Alps, covered with eternal 
snow, where the enemy, being nearly all Tyrolese, Were 
familiai with the ground and the climate. We were 
therefore masters of the Valtellina, while' General 
Cialdini, with the fourth division of the army, occupied 
Val Camonica and Val Trompia, as Jar as the Lake, 
of Garda, and Colonel Brignoue,'of the same division, 
occupied Val Camonica itself. 

I do not think it beside the point to say a word here 
about the fate of that Fourth division, beyond doubt one 
of the best in the Italian army, and commanded "by 
most diatinguialied officers. Was it detached front our 
army because the appearance of a strong body of Aus- 
triaus was feared from that part of the Tyrol ? Or waa 
it for the sake of diminishing our army, and causing it 
t" play a less conspicuous part in the decisive battle 
wiiich must inevitably he fought on the Mincid ? ' Oj 
was it in order to keep a watch over the cbrpa of Alpine 
chasseurs — growing just then at a poitentoUs rate — and 
deprive it of that independence which, though seemingly 
not displeasing to the King, did' not' please certain 
exalted personages ? ■ , ' ■ 

I think the first supposition is not altogether wrong 
with regard to tliat fox of a Bonaparte, and that the 
removal of tlie division from the anny was a mere pre- 
text for depriving the latter of a bravo leader and an 
«Kcellent division. Besides, the Alpine caccial<rn-^-«llo, 
thoiyh reduced, after the affair at Treponti, to 1800 


men, hod increased as if by magic in little more than 
a month to about 12.000, and were adding to their 
numbers daily, — did not fail to give unilirage to those 
insignificant bigots who maintained that the volunteers 
were no use, by having; the imimdence to become 
fonnidable to them. These men, overloaded as they 
are with guilt, are afiraid of us. and Itave plenty of 
reason to be so. They call ua revolutionaries, and 
honour us in so doing; nor will we renounce that 
honourable title, so long as there are base wretches 
on earth who, in order to revel in luxury themselves, 
keep the better part of the nation in slavery and misery. 
This sending the fourth division away may have had its 
origin in the ci'ooked soul of the third Napoleon, and 
been reflected in the mind of the King and his servile 
courtiers. The fact is that tlie battle of San Martino 
took place, and the Italian army, composed in all of 
five divisions, wanted the fourth, which might have 
carried out a brilliant coup de main and made the hard 
struggle sustained by our side easier. The fear, real or 
pretended, of Austrian troops descending from the Tyrol, 
was evident to me from the hour of my arrival at Lecco, 
where I found a detachment of French sappers and 
miners, with a suiierior officer, occupied in mining tiie 
main road from Lecco into the Valtellina. It is true 
that this officer had orders to come to an understandii^ 
with me as to what was to be done ; and I, having no 
information of any hostile troops advancing in tliat 
ilirection, bogged him to desist from his work of de- 
struction. I believe that General Cialdiui had orders — 



emunating, no doubt, from tlie same source — to destroy 
roads and liritlges in the upper valleys ; like orders being 
transmitted to Colonel Brignoiie, who occupied Val 
Camonica, and to me in the Valtellina. 

The colonel reluctantly had some roads broken up, 
and I had the points most suitable for demolition, in 
case of need, studied by engineers ; but nothing of tlie 
kind was actually carried out, as it seemed to uie an 
act of untimely fear to ruin bridges and roads abso- 
lutely necessary to the poor dwellers in the valleys, 
unless we liad intelligence of the enemy's presence in 
large numbers. Meanwliile the great battles of Solferino 
and San Martino were taking place ; and soon after, the 
peace of Villafranca, looked on by many as a calamity, 
and by me aa a fortunate event, was concluded. 

At the armistice — afterwards the peace of Villafranca 
— ^the 1200 Alpine cacdntori, in five regiments, occupied 
the four valleys of Valtellina, Camonica, Sabbia, and 
Trompia, as far as the Tyrolese frontier. General 
Cialdini had retired witli his division on Brescia. In 
addition to the five regiments of Alpine taedatori, 
Ihere had arrived, at last, the regiment of cacdatori of 
the Apennine-i, whicli Cavour, in spite of the King's 
orders — received at the beginning of the campaign — 
had always, under one pretest and another, refused to 
-send me till tlie war was over. 

"With the Apennine eacelalori arrived also- Colonel 
Malencbini, the same who, when the Italian youth began 
to migrate into the ranks of the Piedmontese army, 
^ad come from Tuscany with 900 men. Malenchiui 

was a great acquisition to me, laoth on account of thu 
affection with wMob his soldiers regarded liini, and the 
truly kind friendship which he entertained towards me. 
A little later cfune Montanelli, a man whom I had takeit 
into my affection from tlie moment I made hia acquaint- 
ance — at Florence in 1848 — and who deserved tbij 
respect of every one for his tnily heroic self-deniaL He 
was a private soldier in the corps of the Apennine 
racdatori. Montinelli, Filopanti, and Massimo d'AzegliiS 
are three men who have always inspired me with a 
real respect for their courage and talent. In them I 
venerate the ideal of tho great citizen. Two of then» 
may, for the moment, have been doctrinaires ; but tJiejr 
grudged no personal risk in the hour of danger. At 
Curtatone, and at Vtcenza, those two illustrious political 
leaders were wounded, fighting as pri\-ate soldiers 
among the Italian patriots. I have myself seen Filo- 
panti, the great astronomer, the irreproachable member 
of the Koiuan Constituent Assembly, fighting, musket 
in hand, at the defence of Rome. Itoly may well bft 
proud of having produced such men. Montanelli', 
amid the Tuscan youth at Curtatone, and Massimo in 
the ranks of the combatants at Vicenza, are figures 
which loom gigiiutic ; and the honourable scars gained 
on the battle-field adorn with a halo of eternal glory 
the authors of " La Costitueute Itallaua," and " Niecol6 
de' Lapi." 

When Malenchini marched into Piedmont with his 
Tuscan youth, he quitted the post of minister of 
at Florence, which public opinion, then omnipotent, 


had justly assigned him. He resigned this position as 
soon as he heard of the fighting in Lombardy, and 
hastened to the spot, eager for tlie chance of striking 
a blow for his country. Such self-abuegation is often 
carried too far by modest and deserving patriots ; the 
superior posts, nobly deserted by them, being usually 
filled by intriguers -only capable of working mischief to 
the country. 

The armistice of Villafranca. which was universally 
understood to be preliminary to a peace, , left the 
Alpine cacdntori in a position unsuited to- .tlieir 
character. Enthusiastic young men, who had given ap 
their professions and the comforts of their life to get 
the chance of fighting for Italy, were certainly not 
suited for the quiet life of a garrison, the monotonous 
routine of quarters, and, above all, the axcessive diB- 
oipline enforced on royal armies in timd of peace. 
It was therefore understood that, from the very be- 
ginning of the armistice, tlie Alpine aiccuitori would 
become an exotic plant in the midst of the standing 
army, subject to the permanent hostility of La Mar- 
mora^ ministry. The news from Central Italy, on tlie 
other hand, offered some warlike prospects. It wa» 
said that the Duke of Modena was keeping himself in 
readiness to invade the duchy; and tliat the Pope's 
Swiss guards, after the slaughter of Perugia, were eager 
to throw themselves upon Itomagna. 




One very natural desire was uianifeated in Central 
Italy, then in full blast of hostility against its mlera — 
to secure tlie services of the Alpine cacemlori. This 
<;orp3 fully deserved the esteem of the countrj' ; the 
independent character of its component elements seemed 
to guarantee, with a fair degree of probahility, that it 
would not be indiscriminately fettered by dynastic 
interests. There needed no great stimulus to arge it 
on against priests and petty tyrants. 

Montanelli and Malencliini not only spoke to me of 
this plan, but made a journey into Centrid Italy, on 
their return from wliich they entreated me to betake 
myself thither, in accordance with the request of the 
governments of Florence, Modena, and Bologna, who 
also offered me the command of their troops. 

"When I told Montanelli that I would demand my 
xUscharge, and march without delay, he embraced me 
with emotion. Malenchini then arrived with a letter 
from Iticasoli, summoning me into Central Italy ti) 
command the whole army or a pari of it. This ex- 
pression showed me the existence of some amount of 




distrust, but, as I have never mode any stipulations 
in serving the cause of peoples — above all that of my 
own country — I did not say a word. Tlie good Malen- 
chini, however, told me that Farini, with whom I had 
spoken at Modena, and Pepoli, whom I had seen at 
Turin, assured liim that they would give me tlie 
command of all troops stationed tliere. 

1 therefore sent in my resignation as a Sardinian 
general, and set out, by way of Genoa, for Florence. In 
the capital of Tuscany my misgivings began to lie' 
realized; for I perceived that I had to deal with tlie 
same class of men with whom I liad come in contact on 
my first arrival in Italy, At Montevideo, I had abandoned 
the supreme command of an army whicli liad been fighting 
heroically for aix years ; yet, on my reaching Italy with 
my poor but valiant seventy-tliree, I spent some months 
in wandering from Nice to Turin, from Turin to Milan, 
thence to Koverbello, and then back to Turin ; and after 
all tliis waste of time, succeeded at last, a short time- 
before the capitulation of Milan, in obtaining the 
command of a few sweepings of the barracks, with the 
grade of colonel. And this command was only given 
to me when the war Imd taken a disastrous turn, and, 
in fact, just for tliat very reason. I imd come from 
America to serve my country, were it only as a private 
soldier ; the rest mattered little to me. On the other 
hand, it mattered a great deal to me tliat I sliould Bee 
Italy honourably served, and not left a prey to a certain 
crew of worthless scoundrels. At Home, a minister, 
Campello, kept me and my men at a distance from the 



capital, and liis b^^arly suspicions would not allow my 
force to exceed tlie number of 500. In Piedmont, at 
the beginning of 1859, 1 was kept as a flag to attract 
volunteers ; tlie Yolmit«ers flocked to the standard fast 
enoi^h, but those lietween the ages of eighteen and 
twenty-six were destined for the line regiments, Only 
those who were too young, too old, or in some way 
deficient, were sent to me, on whom the obligation was 
laid not to appear in public — to avert a diplomatic scare, 
eo it was said. Once on the field of battle, moreover, 
•when I might have been able to do aometliing, I was 
refused even- those vnhinteers who had flocted at my 

At Florence, it was not difficult to understand that I 
had to deal with the same kind of men. Tliey began to 
speak of the possibility of General Fanti's accepting 
tlie supreme command, which they had been liolding out 
as a bait to me. Poor miserable rascals ! Perhaps I 
ought to have accepted nothing, and returned to private 
life ; but, as I said Iwfore, the country was in danger. 
And what then ? Was it my custom to demand any- 
thing for myself, when so noble a cause was in question ? 
I accepted the command of the Tuscan di\i3ion. 

When I entered the Palazzo Vecchio, the peopk' 
received me with acclaruations ; these, naturally, were 
not very welcome to the Government, who reciueated me 
to calm the people, and start as quickly as T could for 
Modena, the head-quarters of the division. 

At Modena, I saw Farini, who received me WeU, and 
plac^ under my orders the organized forces of Modena 



and Parma. Farini, a man of BUiierior intelligence and 
not too scrupulous, was, like jiU the ndera of Central 
Itdyt much liked in the capacity of dictator of those 
beautiful proWnces ; and the idea of having a man beside 
him whose popularity matched hia own, did not please 
him much. Ricasoli I tliought from the beginiiing 
more open and less cunnmg than Farini ; but, un- 
happily, he seemed to feel the same repulsion for me, 
attributing it to my excessive rashness. Cipriani, the 
Goveraor of Bologna, was an out-and-out Napoleonist, 
and as such could have little in common with me. 
Between this lust and myself, therefore, a frank mutual 
ftutipathy had manifested itself ever since my first arrival 
iniCentral Italy; and there was no danger of his making 
arrangements to haiid over to me the command of the 
troops, in that part of Romagua governed by him. Tlie 
call I received from these gentlemen was therefore 
instigated by the small measure of popuhirity I enjoyed, 
on which they IiopeU to ride into favour themselves— 
uottiing else, as we shall soon sea 

Farini — "just as n joke," as he used to say — had one 
<lay, writing to Fanti, offered him the command of the 
Centnd Italian troops. Fanti, with that coolneaa 
peculiar to him, did not accept definitely, but held out 
hopes that he would do so, when once his pi>sition with 
regard to the Sardinian Govei-mnent had been settled. 
The fact ia that my presence iji the centre was most 
■welcome, both to the people aud the army ; and the 
more evident this feeling was, the more intolerable it 
became to the Government. The latter, therefore, used 


all their efforts to hasten the arrival of General Fanti, 
who, holding, as he did, the position of my military 
superior, was the only one who could i-eatrain my 
ardour in a. juat cause, and ^uiet the fears of tlie new 
rulers, just as jealous of popular favour as the old ones. 
Although a bom revolutionary — since any one who 
suffers cannot remain either silent or steady (and what 
man who sees his country enslaved and plundered does 
not suffer ?) — I have, notwithstanding, never refused to 
subject myself, when necessary, to that needful dis- 
cipline indispensable to the success of any and every 
enterprise ; and, convinced as I was that Italy ought to 
march with Victor Emmanuel in onler to free herself 
from the foreign yoke, I thought it my duty to obey his 
orders at any cost, even to the silencing of my republican 
conscience. Nay, more ; I tliought that, quite apart 
from any consideration of his fitneas for the post, Italy 
ought to confer the dictatorship on him. till such time 
as her territory should be completely free from the 
foreigner. Such was my conviction in 1859 ; it has 
since been somewhat mollified, because the monarchical 
form of government has many defects, and because we 
could have done immense things by our imaidetl efforts ; 
though, as a matter of fact, we liave always preferred 
kneeling at the feet, now of one, now of another, pitifully 
and disgracefully supplicating for what, after all, is our 
own. This being premised, a hundred thousantl men 
would have gathered round me in Central Italy durmg 
the latter part of 1859; and with their appearance Euro- 
pean diplomacy would certainly have taken a favourable 



turn, or oue miglit even, with only the 30,000 thus 
iisaembled in tlie Duchies and Romagna, have decided 
tlie fate of Southern Italy in a fortnight — in short, done 
what was done by the Thousand a year later. 

The tJovemments would have remained at their posta, 
and in the mean time administered the affairs of their 
several provinces, and filled a place secondary, indeed, 
but glorious in our ojwrations. This was not their own 
opinion ; and therefore they plotted together to humiliate 
me, and nullil'y my action; two of them from base per- 
sonal considerations, the third, proItaUy, in obedience to 
the orders of the man whose wisli — though in this I may 
be mistaken — is anything buttlie unity of Italy (1859). 

Meanwhile, I dragged on a deplorable existence for 
some months, doing little or nothing in a country where 
80 mucli could and ought to have been done. Organizing 
troops is the most tedious of occupations for me, who 
have an innate antipathy to the soldier's trade ; who 
have at times, it is time, because born in an enslaved 
country, taken it up, but always with reluctance, and 
with the conviction that it is a crime for men to be 
forced to butclier one another, in oider to come to an 

Being obliged to confine myself to the Tuscan division, 
I occupied myself in improving its condition. Then 
Fanti came ; and a great deal of nonsense was current at 
the time of his arrival ; for instance, Farini assured mc 
that Fftnti woulil assume the ministry of war, and that 
I should take command of the troops. Valerie arrived, 
sent by the ricilmontese ministry', and said to me, 



" Eemeiuber, if you are not Batisflcd, Fanti does not wish 
to accept," I replied, " I am not satisfied," and Fanti 
accepted uevertlieless. 

In short, the point for these gentlemen was to get rid 
of my personality, without entirely eliminating my 
name, which they needed, in order to make themselves 
attractive in the eyes of the people. They thought they 
had found a way out of their difficulties by naming me 
second cluef of the troops of the league ; this league 
oonaisting of three provinces of the Poninaula, wliose 
powerful Governments, for fear of displeasing certain 
patrons, did not dare to cull themselves Italy ! This is 
tlie way in which we build up the constitution of this 
htimlle and disgraced country of ours. 

Here began tlie base intrigues intended to disgust me, 
Fanti refused, to accept my gallant officers of the Alpine 
oacdalori, summoned by me with the Governor of 
Modepa's. consent, while officers of every other hind 
were welcomed. My poor cacciatori, who had come in 
crowds, ever since they had heaitl of my presence in 
Central Italy, to increase existing corps and form new 
ones, were very lianlly treated. Arriving, for instance, 
from the remotest parts of Lombardy, without shoes, in 
their linen jackets, quite worn out by the march, they 
were rejected on account of some slight defect of ^e, 
stature, or physical constitution, No one so much as 
dreamed of asking them whether they had had any- 
thing to eat, or whether they had means to get food and 
return home. The governor, Cipriani, acting on an 
understanding with Fanti, sent me to Ilimini, to tit out 


two mercliant vessels I'or fighting, and had me escorted 
by a brother of his, who corresponded with him in 
cipher, without my knowledge. At Itimini, all orders 
were given to General Mezzacapo, who happened to be 
my subordinate. 

I appreciated all the difficulties of my position, and 
liad, as it were, to swallow poison, in the hope of being 
of some use to my imhappy countiy. Fortunately, I 
was somewhat indemnified for the intrigues of a cowardly 
crew by the affection of the people and of my soldiers. 

At one time I flattered myself that I was able to 
modify tlie difficult situation, and even be of some nse, 
by trying to win over Fanti ; and used every effort tn 
gain his friendship. But it will soon be seen how 
mistaken I was, and what base advantage was taken of 
my gooil faith. 

The Marches and Umbria, too, were impatient of the 
Papal yoke, and previous to my arrival had concerted a 
rising with Cipriani. This was the reason for the 
arming of the two steamers at Himini, and I had 
instructions to second a movement in that district. 

My presence at Rimini, it ia tme, excited the enthu- 
siasm of the people ; but, frankly speaking, it was wished 
—especially by Cipriani — to present the appearance of 
action, and not only do nothing, hut fetter, and even 
ando, the action of otiiers. Willi me, in tlie meanwhile, 
artifice was used. It was suggested, whether by Ci- 
priani or Fanti I do not know, to swear in the volunteers 
for eighteen months. Now, from the beginning of tlie 
events which had brought about the new state of 

132 AVTOBiooiiAimy of giuseppe garibaldi. 

things, the volunteers had joined on the understandiuj^ 
that they were to serve till six months after the conclu- 
sion of tlie war. All these hi-ave young fellows had 
entered of their own free mil, and would not have 
uttered a word of ohjection if the duration of the war 
had forced them to serve for ten years. But they did 
not like the eighteen montlis' fixed service, as 1 knew 
well, and had representeil first to Cipriani, and then to 
the commander-in-chief No notice was taken of my 
remonstrances, and they nearly lost the whole Mezza* 
capo division by this ill-judged measure. When I was 
at Bologna, I was summonetl by Intendajit Mayer of 
Forli and Colonel Malenchini, who were seriously alarmed 
by the number of desertions and requests for leave 
of absence in the corps stationed on the line of Cattoliea. 
I hastened tliither, and succeeded in partly stopping the 
dissolution of the corps ; but while I was employed at 
this work, Mezzacapo was using his utmost efforts to 
get the counteracting measure adopted — that is, to have 
the men sworn in for eighteen months — perhaps by 
order of Fanti. He tlid tliis for the pleasure of thwart- 
ing me ; perhaps also in the hope of disparaging me in 
the eyes of those who did not know me. I asked for 
some delay in administering the oath, but in vaiiL 

Meanwhile, the agitation among the people of Umbria 
and tlie Marches still went on. The gallant old 
brigadier Pichi, a native of Aiicona and a veteran of 
Italian liberty, kept up a constant correspondence with 
the oppressed populations, while negotiations were 
opened with the kingdom of Naples and with Sicily. 

With lees opposition on the part of the Governors 
and their generals — who, if they had been paid hy the 
enemy to work mischief, could not have done worse — 
we might have risked everything and proceeded on a 
triumphal marcli to the south of Italy, more easily and 
completely than was done a year later. It is true thgt 
I had instiTictions from General Fanti, expressed pretty 
nearly in the following terms : — " If you are attacked by 
the Pontifical troops, you are to repulse tbem, and 
invade their territory ; or, in case of insurrection in a 
city like Anccna, to invade in support of the insurrec- 
tion." The first alternative was impossible, as the 
Pontificals were certainly not thinking of attacking ua. 
The second Iiad also become very improbable, as our 
adversaries were on the watcli, and had strengthened 
the garrisons of Ancona, I'esaro, and other towns. 
Nevertlieless, arms were introduced into Ancona and 
the Marches, and the jieople's spirits kept up. The 
young soldiers who formed the vanguard would have 
greeted an order to march forward with frantic cries 
of joy : fio great was the general eagerness to rush to 
the liberation of our brothers. But that fatality 
weighed on our poor country which, under ona fonn or 
another, has kept her back for so many centuries. At 
all times slie has been tortured by varjing forma of 
internal discord, and to this evil is added, at the present 
day, that of a flock of doctrinaires, who. having seized 
the helm of state, and being aup]>orted by all whose 
object is to prevent Italy from becoming great' ^1859), 
do tlieir utmost to deaden her generous impulses. 


Wliile I was preparing for action, secret orders were 
Bent to my subordinates not to obey me. General 
Mezzacapo, in particular, had a despatcli from Fantr 
t« this effect : " No one is to move witliout an order. 
Send tliis on to General Eoaelli." Not only iiad my 
subordinates, Mezzacapo and Eoselli, orders not to- 
obey me, but my very staff was told to go and place 
itself at the disposal of Colonel Ste(|aiielli, tlie head of 
the Tuscan division. 

Such was my position at Itimini. when General San- 
front arrived there, sent by the King. He found me 
thrown into deep perplexity and indignation by the 
treacherous conduct of my opponents, and if he had not 
como, I know not what desperate course I might have 
resolved upon. I accompanied him to Turin, and had 
a conference with Victor Emmanuel, wliich resulted 
in hia promising to advise General Panti to tender 
his resignation, as suggested by the Governments of 
Florence and Bologna, and declaring that Cipriani's 
presence iu Itomagna had become absolutely injurious ; 
and that I, at the heati of the Central Italian forces» 
should have done the best for the common cause by 
acting as I thought fit. Yet he did not give his consent 
to the invasion of the Pontifical territory — the usual 
reserve, very natural iu bis jiosition, in presence of a 
revolutionary — ^just as, a year later, he successively 
refused his consent to the Sicilian expedition, the 
passage of the Strait, and the march on Kome which 
ended at Aspromonte. I left Turin well content, and 
assuredly lost no time iu getting to Modena, where I 

lit vsuntAimiT. 


foumi Farini and Fitiiti, to whom I frankly detailed the 
result of my mission. 

My opponenta, however, were not asleep. A telegram 
from the Minister of War warned Fanti not to accept 
his dismiss^^nd in the mean time they were working 
fill A'ictor Emmanuel, in order, if possihle, to change 
the character of his feelings towards ine. 

The first meaanre to he taken in Central Italy was 
that of removing Cipriani from the government of 
Itologna. As I gave those gentlemen to underatandi 
he had to be removed, by persuasion or by force. If 
we were to carry on operations in the Papal State, it 
would never do to have in our rear a hostile governor, 
whose efforts were directed to no other end than that 
of Iiindering the arming of the nation. Tlie measure 
which concerned Cipriani was favourably received by 
all, every one being intercatad in his removal, especially 
Farini and Fanti. Tlie latter, when informed hy me of 
the King's resolution, ^s'a^ not the man tu resist it ; but 
Napoleon, Cavonr, Minghetti, and others, wore too 
much intei'eated in supporting him. Ilattazzi, perhaps 
the only one of these political intriguers who might 
have suppoi-ted me, was weak, irresolute, and probably 
also, to some extent, under Napoleon's influence. 

Here, then, was Victor Emmanuel thwarted — unless 
all his professions were hypocritical — in his good 
intentions, and forced to yield once more to Cavoimon 
power and insolence, as he had done at the beginning 
of tlie war, when he gave orders for my trooi>3 to be 
reinforced with that regiment of Apennine ateciatori. 


which was afterwards sent to me only when the war 
was over. 

Farini, the old fox, was acting with his usual cunning. 
To Minghettt's question, "Who should sncceed (Jfpri- 
ani ? " I Itad replied, " Farini." And, indeed, by this 
means there were two advantages to be gained. The 
first was that of nnitiiig Komagna and the duchies of 
Parma and Modena under a single government; the 
second, that with Farini, a man of superior inteUigenoe, 
and, after all, with an ItaUan heart, one could obtain 
what could never have been obtained under his 
predecessor — a chance of pushing on the work of national 
armament and national unity. 

Since my first arrival in Central Italy I had imder- 
stood Farini, and, though I did not distrust him as an 
ItaUan, he inspired me with no great confidence as a 
personal friend; besides which, I had lately become 
aware that he was not acting sincerely by me. My 
last words to Farini, in the palace at Bologna, were 
iJiese, " You have not been open with nie ; " and, as his 
reply showed some degree of annoyance, I added, " Yea, 
it is you who are chiefly to blame for this stew." 

I must confess, however, that Farini did good work 
during his dictatorship at Modena, and continued to do 
,the same at Bologna. In other parts of Italy, no one 
has been able to match tlie energetic measures in the 
way of arming and organization, which he and Frapolli 
carried out at Modena, 

For all this, however, the dictator was ns little 
straightforward with me as he had been before ; and. 


while lie fully agreed witli me aa to what ought to Iw 
done at Bologna, he being at the head of the civil 
administration, while I directed the military depart- 
ment, I perceived from the expression of his pale face 
- tfiat lie recei\"ed adverse Iiints from outside, and was 
disposed to act according aa the wind might blow 
from Pietbnont The wind had ceased to blow in my 
favour from Turin, My opponents had gained the 
upper hand in the King's mind ; and no doubt he was 
also influenced from Paris, where Cipriani's removal 
from power at Bologna, and my appearance in command 
of the Central Italian troops, were enything but pleasing. 
In their place, I should have said, " Ciaribaldi, retire!" 
but these men were incapable of so much frankness, 
and tried instead to get me out of the way, by every 
kind of opposition and the most contemptible strata- 
gems. My influence on the soldiers and the population 
— so, at least, it seems to me — placed me in a position 
where I could have acted in spite of my adversaries; 
and certainly I was not aftnid to fling myself into the 
vortex of revolution, where, indeed, there was every 
chance of success. 

But that revolution would have had to be initiated 
Ijy me. I should have had to loosen every tie of disci- 
pline in soldiers and [leople ; while before anil behind 
me, at Rome, Piacenza, and elsewhere, was llie French 
intervention. In short, the thought that I might com- 
promise the sacred cause of my country kept me from 
action. I expected something from tlie King, according 
to our agreement ; if he did not authorize our under- 


taking, I tliought lie would tacitly consent to it, 
leaving me t!ie whole responsibility, and ready to 
restrain me, should the necessity occui'. All tliis I 
waa willing to suhmit to, and was quite ready for any 
event tlmt might take place. But no sign was given. 
At last I sent Major Cotte to Victor Emmanuel, and 
then I was summoned to Turin. Keaehing the capital, 
I presented myself to the King, and at once becama 
aware of the change that had passed over him since our 
last conference. He received me with his usual kind- 
ness, but gave me to understand, in a few words, that 
outside requirements obliged Iiini to maintain the 
aldtus gtto, and that lie thought better to keep me out of 
sight for some time. 

The King wished me to accept a. commission in tho 
army. I declined with thanks, but accepted an excellent 
fowling-piece, of ■which he insisted on making me a 
present, and which he sent me by Captain Trecchi, of 
my own staff, when I was already in the train for 
Genoa. Arrived at Genoa, I proceeded to Nice, where 
I spent three days with my children, returning in time 
to catch the steamer which left Genoa for La Madda- 
lena on November 28, 1859. 

I had my luggage on board, and was on the point of 
starting, when, happening to be in the house of my 
friend Coltelletti, I was waited on by a distinguished 
Genoese deputation, headed by the syndic of the city, 
Signor Moro, who gave me to understand that my 
departure would, under the cireumstances, be ill- 
advised. J was persuaded to stay, and accepted tho 


hospitality offered by luy friund Signor Leouardo Cas- 
taldi, ill whose villa at Sestii I paaaed some days. At 
that time the mobilization of the national ^lard wns 
all tlie talk, and Colonel Tun- told me that the Kinf; 
wished to see me, in order to make some arrangements 
on this head. 

I reached Turin and saw the King, who was always 
kind to me. I also saw the minister EattazKi, who, I 
COD assure tlie reader, inspired nie with little confidence, 
I entered into an agreement with both of them, that I 
should be entrusted with the organization of the 
mobilized National Guard of Lombardy. I was satis- 
fied with this arrangement for two reasons — firstly, I 
could in this way prepare a strong contingent for the 
new war into which I felt sure that Italy would be 
plunged ; and, secondly, I could incorporate with thia 
national guard many of my ohl comrades, who were 
now, most of them, wandering from place to place, 
witliout means of subsistence. 

Wliile awaiting at Turin the nomination which waa 
to put it in my power to begin tlie work of organizing, 
I was visited by the escellent patriots Brofferio, Sineo> 
and Asproni, with some other liberal deputies, who 
explained to mo that they wished to profit by my stay 
in the capital, to reconcile the diflerent sections into 
which the advanced party had for some time been aplis 
up, and which were waging with each otlier a war both 
imseemly and injurious to tlie Italian cause. A common 
complaint in our poor country I 

At first, feeling that my success in the scheme pro- 


posed to me was very doubtful, and rather averse to 
any association which did not include the whole nation, 
I reliiaed to enter into it ; and it would have been 
better had I kept to this resolution. But as they per- 
sisted in their request, and explained to me that their 
scheme, if it succeeded, would he a great benefit, I at 
last accepted, and we decided on the founding of a 
society with which, under the name of the " Armed 
Nation," all existing aaaociations should be incor- 

So far everything had gone well, and aU members of 
the different societies who presented themselves to me 
gave in their adhesion to the idea of fusion, and seemed 
perfectly satisfied. 

A meeting of the society Libera Unione was to 
sanction the act of reconciliation j but, so far from this 
being the case, those same men who, in conversation 
witli me, had shown themselves ipiite satisfied with the 
proposed reconciliation, put forward ideas of quite an 
«pposite character, and, umler one pretest and another, 
declared it to be quite impossible. It liad been an old 
idea of mine, and I became more and more convinced 
of its justice, that nothing but a rope's end will serve to 
persuade us Italians to pull together. All our labour, 
therefore, was not only in vain, but worse still. The 
foreign ambassadors, strong in tlie weakness of the 
(.lovemment, or, as was said, instigated by Cavour and 

* I do not know when wiU bo rcaliMU tliLt dream of my Ufet . 
which, with the eli'mioatioQ of Uie priests, would make Italy a power 
ffthefliBt rank. 



Bonaparte — tlien omnipotent — asked for explanations; 
and, in consequence, tbe ministry, with the exception 
of Kattazzi, sent intbeii- resignations en- masse. The 
pretexts were the " Ai-med Nation," the mobilization of 
the national guard, and, if I may take tlie libei-ty of 
saying so, tlie fact that my unfortunate self was mixed 
up with these. 

The Nazionc Amiaia was a thunderbolt for that 

miaerable diplomacy wldch longs to see Italy weak — 

8 cluiuvin, Bonapartist diplomacy which has for its 

' perpetuator the little monarch of the French EepubHc.' 

* Tliicrs, Bonaparte, Cliauvinism— all names indicaling the 
ridionlons preteiuiiona of clerical France to domineer over It&ly, 
which will, no doubt, bo a couataJit Honcce of ill-feeling between 
two nations tlut might, with a, little mutual forbearance, live tn 
harmony as friends. I do not wish to end Ibis second period of my 
recollections without recording two facta whicU concern myself, 
uid prove the malice of the man of December 2, and hie accom- 
plices — not to mention the extent to which ho interfered in our 
af&iirB. At Gavanio, where I passed tbo C'biesB in order to reEicb 
Stdb, in tlie campaign described above, I was waited ou by a certain 

N A , Bent from (he Emperor's head -quarters, with t!ie 

following message : — " I am charged lo offer you all you need for 
yourself and your men ; money and articles of every description 
will be placed at your disposal — only ask. The Emperor knows tbe 
many wnnU of yonr soldiets, and wishes to remedy them. IIo 
cumot bear the idea of the distress in which you are left." I replied 
that 1 was in need of nothing. Itmiistboundemtoodthattbiswiisaii 
imdisgaised Inrgoin ; the sale of Nice was bebg n^otiatcd — nay, tbo 
town was already sold — and they wanted one more accomplice to the 
btt«nc6H — a Nizzord. At fifty-two— save tlie marki— and when a 
man has seen a little of the world, Iw in not so easily gnlled- Yet 
*o great was tbe corrupting cj'nicism of Napoleon III., and so many 
were the cowards who had prostrated themselves before that image 
of corruption! 

The second fact is the following. After the events iu Central 


Let this show iny eomitrymeu that, if wa wish to pass 
for lions, instead of, as hitherto, rabbits — to overawe oiip 
insolent neighbours — we want the whole nation armed : 
that is, two millions of soldiers — and the clergy honestly 
43mpIoyed in draining the Pontine Marshes. 

The King sent for me, and told me that it was 
necessary to lay aside all our projects. 

Italy nlroody ilexcrilieil, 1 i-ea'giied the commaiiil of tlio»e truopa. 
Whether or not BonapHrta had a Imiid in all tliese intrigucR, iiiny 
be seen hy the following letter to the Pope : — 

J^terfrom NapoUon III. lo the Pope. 

"My efforts only Hiicceeiled in hlndoring the spread of the inmir- 
rection; and GnribntJi'a resignation has preserved the MBfehes of 
Ancona from certain iavasion." 

P.S. — It a only through foi^tfulness that I hove uot mentioiioi! 
Colonel Feard, commonly called Oaribaldi'e Eiigliihtaan. 

Thia gallant Englishman appeared among our volimteers in 1853, 
armed at all pobts, provided with a valuable carbine, and exciting 
universal admiration by bis skill as a marksman and his exlra- 
ordioary coolness in the greatest danger. Modest and unpretending, 
he would not accept a miUo of pay. He was on the spot every time 
oor volunteers entered the field. Ho distinguished liimself greatly 
in 1859 and 'CO. The coming of that splendid Englisli contingent, 
which, though lata in arriving, gave excellent proof of its mettle in 
the last actions on the plains of Capua, was greatly due to his 
oxertiona. If Bonaparte and tho Sardinian monarchy had not pro- 
hibited our nmrcli on Rome aitor tlic battle of tlie VolCumo, the 
English contingent, wliose numbers increaHed every day, would have 
greatly helpciTua in winning tho immortal capital of Italy. 3tajor 
Dowling, of the artillery, and Captain Forbes, both English, fought 
gallantly in tlie ranks of the volunteers. Along with them, I shoold 
be glad if I could point out to the gratitude of my country* all those 
bravo fellows who gave their lives to serve her. Deflotte, whom wo_ 
Di^ht to look npon as one of onr martyr?, and Bordone, now a 
general, also deserve our entire gratitude. 




Sicily 1 n lilitil luid well-mented afiection makes mo 
«onaecrate tliese first worda of a glorious period to thee, 
the land of marvels and of marvellous men. The mother 
vi Archimedes, thy glorious liistory bears the impress of 
two achievements paralleled in that of no other nation 
on earth, however great — two achievements of valour 
and genius, the first of wJiioh proves that there is no 
tjfranny, however firmly constituted, which may not 1h! 
overthrown in the dust, crushed into nothingness by the 
dash, the heroism, of a people like tliiiie, intolerant of 
outrages. This is tlie impression left by tlie sublime, the 
immortal Vespers. Tlie second belongs to the genius 
of two boys, who ]ia\'e made it possible to believe in the 
discoveries of the human mind in the boundless regions 
of infinity." 

• Two Sicilinn Ihjj'h, in<l over fourteen years of oge, recently 
ancceetkd in munlally entrftcting the algebraic root of Uic thirty- 
second power, in the course of a few mmuten— a tnily BtnpendouH 


Once more, Sicily, it was tliiiie to awaken sleepeta, to 
drag tliem from the lethargy in which the stupefying 
poison of diplomatists and doctrinaires bad sunk them — 
slumberers who, clad in armour not theix' own, confided 
to others the safety of their country, thus keeping her 
dependent and degraded, 

Austria is powei-ful, her armies are numerous ; several 
formidable neighbours are opposed, on account of petty 
dynastic aims, to the resurrection of Italy. The Bourbon 
has a hundred thousand soldiers. Yet what matter? 
The heart of twenty-five millions throbs and trembles 
with the love of their country ! Sicdy, coming forward 
as champion and repi'esenttttive of these millions, impa- 
tient of servitude. Las thrown down the gauntlet to 
tyranny, and defies it everywhere, combating it alike 
within convent walls and on the peaks of her ever- 
active volcanoes. But her huroes are few, while the 
ranks of the tyrant are numerous ; and the patriots 
are scattered, driven from the capital, and forced to 
take to the mountains. But are not the mountains 
the refuge, the sanctuary, of the liberty of nations ? 
The Americans, the Swiss, the Greeks, Iield the moun- 
tains when overpowered by the ordered cohoits of their 
oppressors. " Lilierty never escapes those who truly 
desire to win her." Well has this been proved true 
by those resolute islanders, who, driven from the cities, 
kept up the sacred fii'e in the mountains. Weariness, 
hardships, sacrifices — what do they matter, when men 
are fighting for the sacred cause of their country, of 
liumanity ? 



uoble Thousttml! in these days of sliaine ami 
misery, I love to remember you! Turning to you, 
the mind feels itself rise above this mepliitic atmo- 
sphere of robbery and intrigue, relieved to remember 
that, though the majority of your gallant band have 
scattered their bones over the battle-fields of liberty, 
there yet remain enough to represent you, ever ready 
to prove to your insolent detractors that all are not 
traitors and cowards — all are not shameless self-seekers, 
in this land of tyrants and slaves 1 " Where any of 
■lur brothers are fighting for liberty, thither all Italian)^ 
imist hasten 1 " — 3ueh was your motto, and you hastened 
to the spot without asking whether your foes were 
few or many, whether the numlier of true men was 
HuflTicient, whether yon had the means for the arduous 
enterprise. You hastened, defying the elements, 
despising difQculties and dangers and the obstacles 
thrown in your way by enemies and self-styled friends. 
\a vain did the numerous cruisers of the Bourbon 
armament surround as with a circle of iron the island 
about to shake off their yoke ; in vam tliey ploughed 
the Tyrrhene seas in all directions, to overwhelm you 
in their abysses — in vain \ Hail on. sail on, argonauts 
of Liberty I There on the utmost verge of the southern 
horizon shines a star, which will never suffer you 
to lose your way — which will lead yon in safety lo 
the achievement of your quest. The star seen of the 
mighty singer of Beatrice — aeon of the great ones who 
came after him, in the darkest hour of the tempest — 
the Star of Italy I Where are the boats wliich received 


you at Villa Spinola, and carried you across the Tyrrhene 
-Sea into the small port of Marsala ? Where ? Have 
they been jealously preserved, marked out for the 
admiration of foreigners and of posterity, aa the symbol 
of the greatest and moat honourable enterprise ever 
undertaken in Italy? Not at all; they have dis- 
appeared. Envy and contemptible littleness of mind 
era the part of Italy's rulers produced a wish to destroy 
these witnesses to their shame. Some say they perished 
in a purposely contrived shipwreck. Others suppose 
them to be rottiug in the recesses of some arsenal, 
Others, again, assert that they have been sold, like 
worn-out clothes, to the Jews, 

Yet siiil on, sail on fearlessly, Piemonte and Lom" 
hardo' noble vessels manned by the noblest of crews ; 
history will remember your illustrious names in despite 
of calumny. And when the survivors of the Thousand, 
the last spared by the scythe of time, sitting by their 
own fireside, shall tell their grandchildren of the 
expedition — mythical aa it will seem in those days — 
ill which they were found worthy to share, they will 
recall to the astonished youth the glorious names of 
the vessels which composed it. 

Sail on ! sail on ! Ye hear the Thousand, who in 
later days will become a million — in the day when the 
blindfolded masses shall understand that the priest is 
nn impostor, and tjTannies a monster anachronism. 
How glorious were thy Thousand, O Italy, fighting 
against the plumed and gilded agents of despotism, and 

* The two flteamere whicL carried the Thousand to MaraaJa. 



driving them before them like sheep ! — glorious ia 
their motley nrray, just as they came from their offices 
and workshops, at the trumpet-call of duty^in tht- 
student's coat and hat, or the more modest garb of tht* 
mason, the carpenter, or the smith.* 

I was in Caprera when I received the first news of a 
movement at Palermo. Sometimes the talk was of an 
insurrection which was being propagated, sometimes 
it was said that the first outbreak had been suppressed. 
Rumours, however, continued to reach us, of a revolu- 
tion which, whether suppressed or not, had certainly 
taken place. I had notice of what had occurred from 
my friends on the continent. I was asked for the arms 
and tlie funds of the '" Million of rifles " — the name 
which had been given to a subscription for tlie purchase 
of arms. 

Uosalino YAo and Corrao were preparing to start for 
Sicily. Knowing the character of those in whose 
hands was the destiny of Northern Italy, I had not yet 
shaken off the scepticism into which I had been hurried 
by the events of the last few montlia of 1859, and 
advised them not to act unless we received mon; 
positive news about the insurrection. Like the middle- 
aged man I was, I threw cold water on the strong and 

* Prom my heart I wish I coalJ bavu addeil " of the pesBMit," 
but I will not distort ihu truth. This etalwarl and laboriouK clasg 
belongs to the prieHla, who make it their busineEB to keep it in 
ignorance. I do not know a single instance of one of its menibcrB 
being seen among tho volunleera. They Hcrve in the array, but 
only when forced to lio so ; and form the most effectual tools of 
[leapotiam and priestcniA. 


ardent resolutions of youthful will. But it was written 
in tlie book of destiny that cold water, dogmatism and 
pedantry should be powerless to obstruct the triumiihant 
march of Italy's fortunes. Though I counselled in- 
action, action was going on, and the news at last 
reached us that tlie Sicilian insurrection was not 
quelled. I counselled inaction, it is true ; but should 
not the Italian be found wherever the struggle of the 
national cause against tyranny is going on 1 

I left Caprera for Genoa, and had some talk on 
Sicilian affairs with my friends Augier and Coltelletti. 
Then, at Villa Spinola, in the house of my friend 
Augusto Vecchi, we began to make arrangements for an 

Bixio was certainly the prime mover in tliis astonish- 
ing enterprise. His courage, activity, and experience 
of the sea, especially in the neighbourliood of Genoa, 
Ills native place, were of enormous value in facili- 
tating our proceedings. 

Crispi, La Afosa, Orsini, Calvino, C'astiglia, the Or- 
landi, Carini. and others, were the most enthusiastic for 
the expedition among the Sicilians, and also Stocco 
and Plutino of Calabria. All were agreed that, what- 
ever happened, if the Sicilians were fighting, we must go, 
whether there was any probability of success or not. 

However, a few discouraging rumours came very 
near putting an end to the whole tlung. A telegram 
from Malta, sent by a trustworthy friend, announced 
that all was lost, and that the survivors of the Sicilian 
revolution had taken refuge in that island. 



We were near desisting from tlie enterprise, though 
I ought to ackiiowledge that the faith of the above- 
mentioned Sicilians never failed, and that they were 
still detennined to try their luck under the guidance of 
tlie gallant Bixto, and at least to ascertain, on Sicilian 
ground, how matters stood. 

Meanwhile Cavour's Government was beginning that 
systeui of petty intrigue and contemptible opposition, 
which pursued our expedition to the last. Cavour's 
ftillowers could not have said, "We do not want an 
expedition into Sicily;" public opinion would have 
declared them reprohatep, and that fictitious popularity, 
gained by the wholesale purchase (with the nation's 
money) of men and newspapers, would probably have 
been shaken. 

I could therefore prepare some help for our friends 
fighting in Sicily, with little fear of being arrested by 
these gentlemen, and with the support of the people's 
generous feelings, dfle|ily stirred as they were by the 
manly resolution of tlie brave islanders. Only despair, 
and the iron resolution of the men of tho Vespers, 
could push forward such an insurrection. La Farina, 
deputed by Cavour to watch our movements, showed 
his want of faitli in the enterprise, and made use, in 
order to dissuade me from it, of his knowledge of the 
Sicilian people, being himself a native of the island. 
He alleged that the insui^enta, having lost Palermo, 
were hopeleesly ruined. However, a Government notice 
which he liiuLself gave us, helped to strengthen us in 
our resulve of immediate action. At Milan we had 



Home 15,000 good rifles, in addition to the peeiiiiiary 
meaiifl at our disposal. At the head of the manage- 
ment of the "Million rifles" fund were Besana and 
Finzi, both trustworthy men. I sent for Besana, wlio 
nirived at Genoa with a sum of money, leaving ordera 
for rifles, ammunition, and other necessaries of war, 
to be sent to us from Milan. At the same time Bixio 
was in treaty with Fauehe, of the Rubattino Steamship 
Company, for our passage to SicUy. The affair went 
off all right, and, thanks to the activity of Fauehe and 
Bixio, and the noble impetuosity of the Italian youth, 
who hastened from all sides to join us, we found our- 
selves, in a few days, quite ready to take the sea, when 
an unexpected incident not only retarded our enterprise, 
but almost rendered it impossible. 

The men sent by me to receive the rifles at Milan 
found at the doors of the depot the royal carbineers, 
who intimated to them that they were not to ttike 
away a single rifle. This order had been given by 

This obstacle, though it did not fail to thwart and 
annoy us, could not make us desist from our project ; 
and, as we could not have our own arms, we attempted 
to get others elsewhere. We should certainly have 
procured them in one way or another, when La Farina 
offered a thousand rifles and eight thousand francs. 
which I, unwilling to bear malice, accepted. 

It was a cunning act of liberality on the part of those 
highly placed foxes, since in reality we were deprived 
of the good guns wliich had remained at Milan, and 



found oui'selves forced to use tlie very iiiferior article 
procured by La Forma. 

My comradeB of Calatafimi can describe the wretubed 
arms with which they had to meet the good Bourbon 
carbines in that glorious conflict. All this delayed our 
departure, so that we were obliged to send home many 
volunteers, their numbers becoming too great for an 
insufficient means of transport, and because we had nir 
wish uselessly to arouse the suspicions of the police — 
the French and Sardinian not excepted. The firm de- 
termination to do something, and uot desert our Sicilian 
friends, at last overcame every obstacle. The voliinteera 
who had Imeu destined for the expedition were recalled, 
and came at once — especially from Lonibardy. The 
(ienoeae had remained in readiness all the time. The 
arms, ammunition, provisions, and a small quantity of 
baggage, were embarked on board some little boats. 
Two steamers, the Lojiibardo and the Pieimmte, the 
former commanded by Bixio, and the latter by CasLiglia. 
were fixed on j and on the night of May 5 we left 
the harbour of (Jenoa, in order to take on board the 
men who were awaiting us, divided between La Foce 
and Villa Spinola, 

We did not fail to meet with some difficulties, 
inseparable trom an enterprise of this kind. 

To boanl tlie two steamers at anchor in the harbour 
at Genoa, just under the Darseua, tfl overpower the 
<.:rew and force them to assist us, then to get up steanj 
and take the Lombardo in tow of the Pievumte, and all 
tliis by moonlight — these are actions easier to describu 


than to perform, and needing great coolness, skill, and 
good fortune to execute tliem successfully. The two 
yicDians, Orlando and Campo, who formed part of tlit 
expedition, and were both engineers, were of the greatest 
nae to us on this occasion. 

By dawn all were on board. Tlie joy of danger and 
adventure, and the consciousnes.s of ser\'ing their 
country's sacred cause, were stamped on the counte- 
nances of the Thousand. There were a thousand of 
them, nearly all Alpine caccialori — those same men 
whom C'avour, a few months ago, had abandoned in the 
heart of Lonibardy during the Austrian war, and to 
whom he had refused to send the reinforcements 
ordered by the King. They were those same Alpine 
cacciaton who were received by the ministry at Turin — 
being, unhappily, compelled to apply to the latter^ — as if 
infected with the plague, and as such driven away ; 
the same Tliousand who twice presented themselves at 
Genoa to nin a positive risk, and who always will 
present themselves wlierever there is a chance of giving 
their lives for Italy, asking for no other inward than the 
approval of their consciences. 

They were glorious, my young veterans of Italian 
liberty ; and I, proud of their faith in me, felt capable of 
attempting anything. 

( 1=3 ) 


RIGHT of May 5, illumined by the countleas firea with 
which the Omnipotent has adorned the infinity of 
space I — beautiful, tranquil, solemn, with that solemnity 
wliich thrills noble hearts hastening to the deliverance 
of the slave ! Sueh were the Thousand. 

Assembled on the eastern shores of Liguria, they 
atofnl alxiut in j^roups, grave, overawed by tlie greatness 
"f their enterprise, but proud of its haviny fallen to their 
lot, though suffering and martyrdom might follow. 

GIoriouB was the night of the great enterprise. Among 
tliose noble ranks its music U'as felt with that undefined 
but sublime hannony with which tlie elect are Messed 
when contemplating tlie Infinite in boundless sjiace. I 
have heard tliat music on all nights which resemble the 
lughts of Quarto, of Keggio, of Palermo, of the Voltumo. 
Who is doubtful of victory when, home on Uie wings of 
duty and ctmscience, he is impelled to meet danger and 
death as though they were the kiss of his bride I 

Tlie Thousand stamp their rifle-butts on the rock like 
the noble charger impatient for the battle. And whither 
are they going to battle, so few of them, gainst 


strong and veteran forces? Have they received a 
sovereign's orders to invade and conquer a poor un- 
happy population, which, ruined by the exactions of 
Grovernment extortioners, has refused to pay ? No ; they 
hasten to Trinacria, where the Picciotti, intolerant of a 
tyrant's yoke, have risen and sworn to die rather than 
remain slaves. And who are the Picciotti ? Though 
bearing this modest title, they are none other then the 
descendants of the mighty people of the Vespers, who 
in a single hour exterminated a whole army of tyrants, 
vrithout leaving a trace. 

The two steamers reached the roadstead of Quarto, 
and the Thousand were promptly embarked, all the 
l)oats necessary for the operation having been prepared 

{ 155 ) 



When all were embarked and ready to proceed towards 
Sicily, a new incident made tlie most resolute shudder, 
and was witliin an ace of anniliilating tlie whole enter- 
prise. Two boats belonging to certain amugfilers, and 
loaded with ammunition, percussion-caps, and small- 
arms, were to await us in the direction of Portofino 
mountain and the Genoa lighthouse ; but, although we 
searched for several hours, it was itaposstble to find 

The amtnunJfioD and percuasion-caps were a serious 
loss to us ; who would venture on an enterprise likely 
to involve fighting, without ammunition ? Yet, after 
searching in every direction the whole forenoon, and 
having taken on board oil and tallow for the engine, at 
Camogli, the two steamers turned westward, Inisting 
to the fortune of It«ly, 

To get amramiitioD, it was necessary to touch at some 
Tuscan port, and we chose Talamono for the purpose. 
I must commend all the authorities of Talamone and 
Orbetello for their cordial and generous welcome, but 
particularly Lieut.-Colonel Giorgini, the principal mil*- 


tary commandiiDt, without whose help we certaiuly coulil 
not have mode the necessary provision. 

Not only did we find ammunition at Talamone and 
Orbetello, but coal and cannon, which greatly facilitated 
and encouraged our espeditioti. 

As it waia in Sicily we intended to act, I thought it 
not a bad idea for us to make a diversion into the 
Papal States, threatening tiieae and the noilh frontier 
of the Bourbon kingdom, so that we might succeed in 
drawing off the attention of our enemy or enemies, for 
a few days at least, to that part of tlie peninsula, and 
thus deceiving them as to the real objective point of 
the expedition. 

I proposed this to Zamhianchi, who accepted eagerly, 
and would certainly have carried out the plan more 
effectually than he did, if I could have left him more 
men and means ; as it was, he had to prepare fur a task 
of great difficulty with about sixty men. 

At last, having coaled at Sauto Stefano, we weighed 
anchor direct for Sicily, with the vessel's Iiead pointing 
to Marettimo, on the afternoon of May 9, The voyage 
was a successful one, in spite of two untoward incidents, 
both caused by the same man, an individual suffering 
from suicidal mania, who twice gave us a gieat deal of 
trouble without attaining his object. Having thrown him- 
self overboard from the Pkmonte, he was rescued, in 
spite of the swiftness of the steamer, by one of those 
acts of courage and skill whicli are so much to the 
lionour of seamen. To stop the engines, lower a boat, 
jump into it in a twinkling, without calculating the 

ilanger, and vow in the rlirection of the drowuing man, . 
as pointed out by those on board— all thia waa done 
in as short a time as it takes to descrilre. The Italian 
sailor is second to none at momenta when great cour- 
tv^a and activity are required. 

The man, who had seemed so determined upon dyint;, 
nevertheless changed his mind as soon as he felt the 
chill of the water and the reality of his danger. Once 
in the sea, he swam like a fish, and made every effort 
to reach his rescuers. 

The same tiling happened on board the Lombardo, and 
thia time the folly of the wonld-be suicide was nearly 
fatal to the expedition. This man had made his first 
attempt on board the PUmonte, at Talamono. At that 
port, where we landed all tiie men during our stay, on 
account of the liniitcii accommodation on Ktard, lie was 
sunt on shore, under tlie idea that he was mad, and 
commended to the care of the commandant of Talamone. 
He contrived, however, to stow himself away on board 
the Lomhardo, and afterwards, no one knows Iiow, trans- 
ferred himself agEun to the /"lemonfe, whence he jumped 
overboard, as above described. The lioat which rescued 
him brought him back to the LomiHirdo, and from thia 
vessel he mode his last attempt to drown himself, on tlie 
evening of tlie lOth, tlie day before our landing in 

On that evening, in hopes of making the island of 
Marettimo, I had got up steam to the utmost possible 
speed on boanl the PinaotUt, the swifter boat of the 
two. On thia account, and because of the madman's 


leap overboard, the Lomhardo remained beliind out of 

Being unable to diacover Marettimo, I suddenly 
thought of our consort, which I hod some time before 
sighted to northward, just visible like a little cloud on 
the horizon. I was seized by a sense of dread and 
remorse, heightened by the approach of night, and 
ordered the vessel's head to be turned in the direction 
of the other steamer. With the deepening darkness, 
my alarm grew ; every minute seemed an hour, and, 
heing unaware of the occurrence wliich had caused the 
delay — the man overboard — I remained for a moment 
doubtful whether or not we had lost the Lomhardo. I 
cannot describe what I suffered in that short time, ov 
how I reproached myself for the foolish impatience 
which had driven me on to get the first sight of 
Marettimo. At last the ioniftari/o hove in sight; indeed, 
il was not likely we should miss her, as the one was 
steering straight for the other, but I had a terrible 

Now, to crown all, something still worse happened. 
At the point where night overtook us in the Piemontc, 
there were several unknown vessels in sight. Bixio had 
seen, and been unable to recognize them on account of 
the distance ; so that, when he perceived us, instead of 
awaiting liim as we had hitherto done, hastening towanls 
him at full speed, he took us for a hostile vessel, and 
tried to escape by getting up steaui and turning away 
ill a south-westerly direction. 

We were in despair. I perceived this mistake, and 


had all sorts of signals made, prearranged or not, for, 
though we had agreed not to use lanteras for fear of 
awakening suspicion, we felt obliged to have recourse 
to them on this occasion. As this did not succeed, we 
hastened after our consort before abe was lost in the 
darkness, and succeeded in comin<; up with her ; when, 
in spite of the noise of the paddle-wheels, my voice 
was recognized, and everything set i-ight. We kept 
close together for the rest of the night, and in the 
morning sighted Marettimo, and shaped our course for 
the south side of that island. 

During the voyage the whole of the men had been 
divided into eight companies, the most distinguished 
olBcers of the expedition being placed at the head of 
each. Sirtori was appointed chief of staff; Acerbi, 
quarter-master; and Tiirr, staff-officer. The arms had 
been distributed, as also the few clothes we had been 
able to get together before our departure. 

Our first idea was to land at Seiacca, but as the day 
was advanced, and we were afraid of meeting the 
enemy's cruisers, wo resolved to put into the nearest 
port— that of Maraala (May 11, 1860). 

As we approached the western coast of'Sicily, we 
liegnn to discover salhng-vessels and steamers. On tlie 
roadstead of Marsala two men-of-war were aitchored, 
which turned out io be English. Having decided on 
landing at Marsala, we approached that port, and 
reached it about noon. On entering the liarbour, we 
found it full of merchant vessels of different nations. 

Fortune had indeed favoured us, and so guided onr 




expedition that we could not have arrived at a more | 
propitious moment. 

The Bourbon cruisers had left the harbour of Marsala 
that morning, sailing eastward, while wb were arriving I 
from the west ; indeed, they were still in sight towarda 
Cape San Marco, as we entered — so that, by the time 
they came within cannon-shot, we had already landed 
all the men out of the PiemonU, and were beginning 
to disembark those on board the Lomhardo. 

The presence of the two English men-of-war in some ■ 
degree influenced the determination of the Bourbon 
Commanders, who were naturally impatient to open fire 
on' us, and this circumstance gave us time to get our 
whole force on shore. The noble English flag once 
more helped to prevent bloodshed, and I, the Benjamin ' 
of these lords of the ocean, was for the hundredth time 
protected by them. 

The assertion, however, made by our enemies, that 
the English had directly favoured and assisted our 
landing at Marsala, was inaccurate. The British 
colours, flying from the two men-of-war and tlie English 
consulate, made the Bourbon mercenaries hesitate, and, 
I might even say, impressed them with a sense of shame 
at pouring the fire of their imposing batteries into a 
handful of men armed only with the kind of muskets 
usually supplied by Government to Italian volunteers. 

Notwithstanding this, three-fourths of the volunteers 
were still on the quay when the Bourbons began firing 
on them with shells and grape-shot — happily, without , 
iiynry to any one. 



The Pieriwntc, abandoned by us, waa carried off by 
the enemy, who left the Lomdardo, which had grounded 
on a sand-bank. 

The population of Marsala, thunderstruck at this 
imexpected event, received us pretty well, all things 
considered. The common people, indeed, were delighted ; 
the magnates welcomed ua under protest. I thought 
all this very natural. Those who are accustomed to 
calculate everj-thing at so much per cent., are not likely 
to be reassured by the sight of a few desperadoes, who 
wish to ameliorate a corrupt society by eradicating 
from it the cancer of privilege and falsehood — especially 
when these desperadoes, few in numher as they are, 
and with neither three-hundred-ixiundeis nor ironclade, 
fling themselves against a powet believed to be gigantic, 
like that of the ItourlMin. 

Men of high position — that is, the privileged class — 
before risking anytliing in an enterprise, wish to assure 
tliemselves which way the wind of fortune blows, and 
where the large battalions are ; and then the vict(iriouB 
force may lie certain of finding them compliant, cordial, 
and even enthusiastic, if need be. Is not tliis the 
history of human selfishness in every couutrj- ? 

The pfwr people, on the other hand, welcomed us 
with applause and with unmistakable tokens of affection. 
They tliought of nothing but the sacredness of the 
sacrifice — the difficult and noble task undertaken by 
that handful of gallant young fellows, who had come 
from such a distance to the succour of their brethi-en. 

We passed the remainder of the day and the following 

VOL. I[. M 


night at Marsala, where I began to profit by the 
services of Criapi, an honest and capable Sicilian, who 
waa of the greatest nse to me in Government buainess, 
and in making all necessary arrangements which my 
want of local knowledge prevented my doing myself. 
A dictatorship was spoken of, and I accepted it without 
hesitation, having always believed it the plank of safety 
in urgent cases, amidst the breakers in which nations 
often find themselves. 

On the morning of the 12th, the Thousand left for 
Salemi, but, the distance being too great for one itape, 
we stopped at the farm of Mistretta, where we passed 
the night,- We did not find the proprietor at home, but 
a young man, his brother, did the honours with kindly 
and liberal hospitality. At Mistretta we formed a new 
company under Griziotti. 

On the 13th, we marched to Salemi, where we were 
well received by the people, and were joined by the 
companies of Sant' Anna d'Alcamo, and some other 
volunteers of the island. 

On the 14th, we occupied Vita, or San Vito, and on 
the 15th came in sight of the enemy, who, occupying 
Calatafimi, and knowing of our approach in that direction, 
had spread out the greater part of their forces on the 
heights called " II Pianto dei Romani." " 

* It b said that tlie Itomans were destroyed by the nativeg in 
a great battle which took place at tlie time of the first Bomaji 
occupation of tite itiknd. 

( 163 ) 


CALATAFIMI, MAY 15, 1860. 

The dawn of May 15 found us in good order on the 
heights of Vita ; and a little later, the enemy, whom I 
knew to be at Calataflmi, left the city in colnnm, mai-cli- 
ing towanls us. 

The hills of Vita are fronted by the heights of the 
Pianto dei Eom&ni, where the enemy deployed their 
columiiH. On the Calatafimi side these heights have a 
gentle slope, easily ascended by the enemy, who covered 
all the highest points, while on the Vita aide they are 
steep and precipitous. 

Occnpying the opposite and southern heights, T had 
been able to perceive exactly all the positions held by 
the Bourbonists, wliile the latter could scarcely see the 
line of sharpshooters formed by the Genoese carbineers 
under Mosto, who covered our front, all the other com- 
panies being drawn up en ichcion behind them. Our 
scanty artillery was stationed on our left, on the high- 
road, under Orsini, who succeeded, in spite of the jMverty 
i)f his resources, in making a few good shots. In tliis 
way, both we and the enemy occupied strong positions, 
fronting each other, and separated by a wide space of 


undulating ground, broken by a few farm-steadings. Our 
advantage, therefore, clearly lay in awaiting the enemy 
in our own position. The Bourbon forces, to the 
number of about 2000, with, soma cannon, discovering a 
few of our men without diatinfpiishing uniform, and 
taiagled with peasants, boldly advanced a few lines of 
Bersaglieri, with sufficient support and two guna. 
Arrived within firing distance, they opened fire with 
carbines and cannon wliile continuing to advance oi 

The order given to the Thousand was to wait without 
firing for the enemy to come up, though the gallant 
Liguriana already had one man killed aud several 
wounded. The clang of the bugles, sounding an 
American reveille, brought the enemy to a halt as if by 
magic. They understood that it was not the Picciotti 
alone they had to deal with, and their lines, with the 
artillery, gave the signal for a retrograde movement. 
This was the first time that the soldiers of despotism 
quailed before the filibusters — for such was the title with 
which our enemies honoured us. 

The Thousand then sounded a charge — the Genoese 
carbineers in the van, followed by a chosen band of 
youths impatient to come to close quarters. 

The intention of the chai'ge was to put to flight the 
enemy's vanguard, and get possession of the two guns- 
a manoeu\Te which was executed with a spirit worthy of 
the champions of Italian liberty ; but I had no intention 
uf a front attack on a formidable position occupied by a 
strong force of Bourbon troops. But who could stop 
those fiery and impetuous volunteers in their rush 



the foe ! In vain the trumpets sounded a halt ; our 
men did not hear, or imitated Nelson's conduct at the 
liattle of Copenhagen. They turned a deaf ear to the 
lialt souaded by the trumpets, and with their bayonets 
drove the enemy's van back on their main body. 

There was not a moment to be lost, or that gallant 
handful woidd have perislied. Immediately a general 
charge was sounded, and the entire corp3 of the 
Thousand, accompanied by some courageous Sicilians 
iinil Calabrese, marched at a quick pace to the rescue. 

The enemy had abandoned the plun, but, falling 
back on the heights where their reserve was, held firm, 
iind defended their position with a dogged valour 
worthy of a better cause. The most dangerous part of 
the ground we had to cross was the level valley sepa- 
lating us from the enemy, where we had to face a storm of 
cannon and musketrbalk, which wounded a good many 
of our men. Arrived at the foot of Monte Romano, we 
were almost sheltered from attack ; and at this point 
the Tliousand, somewhat diminished in number, closed 
up to the vanguard. 

The situation was supreme ; we were bound to win. 
In this determination, we began to ascend the first 
ledge of the mountain, under a boil of bullets. I do 
not remember how many, but there were certainly 
several terracos to be gained before reaching the crest of 
the heights, and every time we climbed from one terrace 
to the next — during which operation wo were totally 
unprotected — it was under a tremendous fire. The 
orders given to our men to fire but few shots were well 


adapted to tbe wretelied weapons presented to us by the 
Sardinian Government, which nearly always missed fire. 
On thia occasion, too, gi-eat service was rendered by the 
gallant Genoese, who, being excellent shots, and armed 
with good carbines, sustained the honour of our cause. 
This ought to be an encouragement to all young Italians 
to exercise themselves in the use of arms, in the con- 
viction that valour alone is not enough on modem 
battle-fields ; gi-eat dexterity in tlie use of weapons is 
also necessary. 

Calatafimi ! the survivor of a hundred battles, if in 
my last moments my friends see me smile once more 
with pride, it will be at the recollection of that fight — 
for 1 remember none more glorious. The Thousand, clad 
juat as at home — worthy representatives of the people 
— attacked, with heroic coolness, fighting their way from 
one formidable position to another, the soldiers of 
tyranny, brilliant in gaudily trimmed uniforms, gold 
lace, and epaulettes, and completely routed them. 
How can 1 forget that knot of youths wlio, fearing to 
see me wounded, surrounded me, pressing themaelves 
closely together, and sheltering me with their bodies ? 
If, while I write, I am deeply touched at the recollection, 
I have good reason. Is it not my duty at least to remind 
Italy of the names of those brave sons of hers who fell 
there ? — Montanari, Schiaffino, Sertorio, NuUo, Vigo, 
Tiikery, Taddei, and so many more, whose names I 
grieve to say I cannot remember. 

As I have already said, the southern slope of Monte 
Komano, which we had to ascend, was formed of those 


ledges, or narrow terraces, used by the cultivators of the 
soil in mountainous countries. We made all possible 
haste to reach the bank of each terrace, driving the enemy 
before ua, and then halting under cover of the bank to 
take breath and prepare for the attack. Proceeding 
thus, we gained one ledge after another, till we reached 
the top, where the Bourbon troops made a last effort, 
defending their position with great intrepidity : many 
of their chasseurs, who hod come to the end of their 
ammunition, even throwing down stones on us. At 
last we gave the final charge. The bravest of the 
Thousand, massed together under the last bank, after 
taking breath and measuring with their eye tlie space 
yet to be traversed before crossing swurds with the 
enemy, rushed on like lions, confident of victory and 
trusting in their sacred cause. The Bourlwin force could 
not resist the terrible onset of men figbtiug for freedom ; 
ihey fled, and never stojipcd till tbey reached the town 
of L'alatatimt, several miles from the buttle-field. We 
ceased our pursuit a short distance from the entrance 
to the town, wliich is very strongly situated. If one 
gives battle, one ought to be sure of victory ; tliis axiom 
is very true under all circumstances, but especially at. 
the beginning of a campa^n. 

The victory of Calatafi mi, though of slight importonco 
as regartls ac^uisitious— for we only took one cannon, a 
few rifles, and a few prisoners — had an immeasurable 
moral result in uncouragii^ the population and de- 
moralizing the hostile array. 

The handful of filibusters, without gold lace or 


epaulettes, who were spoken of with such aoleiun con- 
tempt, had routed several thousand of the Bourbon's best 
troops, artillery and all, commanded by one of those 
generals who, like LuculJus, are in the habit of spending 
the revenue of a province on one night's supper. One 
corps of citizens — not to say filibusters — animated by 
love of their country, can therefore gain a victory 
unaided by all this needless splendour. 

The first important result was the enemy's retreat 
from Calatafimi, which town we occupied on the 
following morning, May 16, 1860. The second result, 
and one abundantly noteworthy, was the attack made by 
the population of Partinico, Borgetto, Montelepre, and 
other places, on the retreating army. In every place 
volunteer companies were formed, wliich speedily joined 
us, and the enthusiasm in the surrounding villages 
reached ita height. 

The disbanded troops of the enemy did not atop till 
they reached Palermo, where they brought terror to 
the Bourbon party, and confidence to the patriots. Our 
wounded, and those of the enemy, were brought in to 
Vita and Calatafimi. Among ours were some men who 
could ill be spared. 

Montanari, my comrade at Bome and in Lombardy, 
was dangerously wounded, and died a few days after. 
He was one of those whom doctrinaires call demagogues, 
because they are impatient of servitude, love their 
country, and refuse to bow the knee to the caprices 
and vices of the great. Montanari was a Modenese. 
Schiaffino, a young Ligurian fi-om Caraogli, wlio had 



also served in the Caeciatori delle Alpi and in the Guides, 
was among the firat to fall on the field, hereaviug Italy 
"f one of her best and bravest soldiers. He worked 
hard on the night of our start from Genoa, and greatly 
assisted Bixio in that delicato undertaking. De Amici, 
also of the Caeciatori and Guides, was another who fell 
at the beginning of the battle. Not a few of the chosen 
band of the Thousand fell at Calatatimi as our Roman 
forefathers fell— rushing on the enemy with cold steel, 
cut down in front without a complaint, without a cry, 
except that of " Viva I'ltalia I " 

I may have seen battles more desperate and more 
obstinately contested, hut in none have I seen finer 
soldiers than my citizen filihiisters of Calatafimi. 

The victory of Calatafimi was indisputably the 
decisive battle in the brilliant campaign of 1860. It 
was absolutely necessary tp b^jin the expedition with 
some striking engagement such as this, which so 
liemoralized the enemy that their fervent southern 
imaginations even exaggerated tlie valour of the 
Thousand. There were some among them who declareil 
they had seen the bullets of their carbines rebound 
from the breasts of the soldiers of liberty as if from 
a plate of bronze. Far more men were killed and 
wounded at Palermo, Milazzo, and the Voltumo, but 
still I believe Calatafimi to have been the decisive 
battle. After a fight like that, our men knew they 
were bound to wiu ; and the gallant Sicilians, whose 
courage had been previously shaken by the imposing 
numbers and superior equipment of the Dourbou force. 


were encouraged. When a battle beffina with aucli 
prestige, with omens drawn from such a precedent, 
victory ia sure. 

Novara, Cuatoza, Lissa, and perhaps even Mentana, 
in spite of the disparity in troops and reaoiircea, were 
disastere for Italy, not so much on account of our losses 
in men and means, as through tUe insolent confidence 
acquired by our enemies, wlto are not, certainly, supe- 
rior to the Italians, but who, if they ever have to fight 
us again, will look on ua aa an easy prey — as men who 
have to be driven forward with the butt -ends of muskets. 

For Italy's future solemn trials a Fabius will be 
required, who knows how to delay wlien necessary. 
Indeed, the configuration of oup country is such that 
we can carry on a war just as we like, accepting or 
refusing battle at pleasure, and, when position and 
circumstances are propitious, let loose our Italians, who 
will have become- impatient for the fight, and are, 
liappily, susceptible of a strong impetus. There will 
come a Zama, where Scipio, without asking the number 
of the enemy, will seek and put them to flight. 

Even this subject I cannot consider without eu- 
counteriug the ever-present influence of tlie priesthood, 
who wish to make all the Italians into sacristans. And 
if Italy does not aeek a remedy, it will be a serious 
buainesB. Jesuitry can produce nothing but hypocrites, 
liars, and cowards. Let those who ought to do so think 
of it, and lay the matter well to heart, remembering, 
above all things, that, for marching and giving good 
t-thrusts, we need strong man. 

( m ) 



CaLATAFIMI, being evacuated by the enemy, was 
occupied by us on May 16, 1860. The grenter Dumber 
of our wounded had been taken to Vita. At Calatafimi, 
we found the most seriously wounded of the enemy, 
and treated them as brothers. 

Did the ruling dynasties of Italy feul any compunc- 
tion in ui^ng on these unhappy populations, Uke 
fighting mastiffs, one against another ? Compunction 1 
What for ? Has not their wliole study l>een how to set 
them at variance, for the sake of purely personal or 
dynastic interests J Does not the " heap of dirt and 
blood," as Guerrazai calls the Papacy, exist in Eorae, 
at tlie heart of Italy, for the sake of selling her to the 
highest bidder, and keeping her ()ernianent!y divided ? 

The history of all these petty lords would l<e lon^ 
and tedious to narrate. To-day, fortunately for oiii- 
country, they are nearly all beggars; and, if not that, 
still traitors to and corrupters of nations. 

On the 17th, we reached Alcamo, an important town, 
wliere we were receiveil with great enthusiasm. At 
Partinico the people were frantic. They had been 


subjected to the woret ill-treatment of tlie Bourbon 
soldiers before the battle of Calatafinii ; and, when the 
latter returned as scattered fugitives, fell iiiion tbeiii. 
slaughtering as many as they could, and pursuing the 
rest towards Palermo. A sickening sight! we found 
the corpses of Bourbon soldiers lying along the roads, 
devoured by dogs. Tliey were corpses of Italians — 
niuRlered Italians, who, had they grown up as free 
citizens, wi>uld have rendered active service to the cause 
of their oppressed country; instead of which they 
reaped the fruit of the hatred sown by their infatuated 
masters, and ended miserably — literally torn to pieces 
by their own fellow-countrymen, witli a ferocious rage 
which would have made hyenas shudder. 

From the beautiful plains of Alcamo and Partinicn 
the column ascended by way of Eorgetto to the plateau 
of Renne, which overlooks the Conca d'Oro * and the 
lovely city of I'alenno. If Italy had half a dozen citiee 
like Palermo, the stranger would long ago have ceased 
to tread underfoot this land of ours, and the present 
governments of spies and police-agenta would assuredly 

have either to keep a straight course, or go to 

their own place. 

Renne would be a formidable position if, while com- 
manding the road from Palermo to Partinico, it were 
not itself commanded by the heights immediately 
adjacent on the north and south, which belong to the 

* The valley in which Palenno is Mtualed, aboimdiiig in Sue 
oTange-treee, whose golden masses of Trait, when ripe, give rise to iIh 
name (the Guides Shell). 


irregular mountain system surrounding the rich vjilley 
of the capital. Senne is famous in the annals of the 
Thousand for two days of heavy rain, passed without 
the necessary shelter from the inclemency of the 
weather, during which the men were put to great 
inconvenience, but proved their willingness to face 
inglorious hardships as well as the horrors of battle. 





Before May 5, two young Sicilians had left Genoa 
for their native island. The one, very handsome, with 
flark brown hair, belonged to the family of the princes of 
Capace, and liad that delicacy of form and feature which 
seems eapecially to belong to the wealtliy classes. The 
other had the beauty of the southern plebeian, jet-black 
hair, regular but bronzed features, a sinewy and robust 
figure. He was unmistakably one of that class whom 
fortune lias condemned to subsist by the labour of their 
liands — a class where sometimes one man or another, 
stimulated by ambition, throws himself out of his orbit, 
and, if helped by genius, is seen to rise from the lowest 
of human positions to the upper ranks. Such men were 
Cincinnatus, Marius, and Columbus. For the rest, both 
of them, Rosalino Pilo and Corrao, had the hearts of 
lions. They preceded the Thousand to Sicily, and, 
landing after a dangerous voyage, at once set themselves 
to spread the doctrines of emancipation, calling on the 
brave sons of Etna to rise, in liopes of prompt succour 
from the mainland of Italy. 
Two men, and no more, they landed, proscribed and 

oader sentence cif death, and passed over the whole 
island, fulfiUmg their sacred mission, as safe as if they 
hail been in a city of refuge. Hear it, tyrants, and learn 
that this is not a country of spies ! You have wasted 
your time in lavishing eveiy kind of bribe. Here on 
the lava of the father of volcanoes, your power, defiled 
as it is with blood and shame, is but the thing of a day. 
Throw off your regulation mask, in which no one 
believes now, and appear under tlie hideous aspect of 
Heliogabalus or Coracalla. Here it is nothing but a 
question of time— of years, perhaps of days. If these 
wrangling descendants of discord and greatness succeed 
in coming to an understanding and acting in concert, in 
a few hours — as at the time of the Vespers— not a trace 
will remain of the Maniacalchi and suchlike refuse. 

Eosalino Pilo fell in a skirmish with the BonrboH 
troops, with whom the Thousand exchanged a few aliota 
in the neighbourhood of R«nne. He was struck by an 
enemy's bullet while preparing to write to me from the 
heights of San Martino, and dropped dead, Italy lost 
in Iiim one of the bravest of that gallant band whose 
noble bearing makes her forget, or at least feel less 
acutely, her degradation and misery. 

Corrao, less fortunate than Kosalino, after having 
fought bravely in every battle of 1860, died by an 
Italian bullet in a private quarrel. 

Sicily will certainly never forget these two heroic 
sons of hers, worthy harbingers of the Thousand. 




After having passed two days of heavy rain' at Kenne, 
without shelter and almost without firewocMi, so that we 
were forced to burn even the t«legrapIi-poles, we de- 
scended as far as the village of Pioppo, above Monreale. 
This position, however, proved unsuitable, on account of 
the smallness of our force. 

About the 21st, a reconnaissance undertaken by tlie 
enemy, in the course of wliich a few shots were ex- 
changed, determined me to take up a stronger position 
above the meeting-point of the roads wliich converge at 
Henne, thus keeping open the communication along the 
Partinico road, by which we had come, and also by way 
of San Giuseppe, further aoutli. 

The above-named was a convenient strategic position, 
and we might have awaited the enemy there with 
advantage. But I thought the road from Palermo to 
Corleone better suited for us, for a double reason — 
besides offering a much wider field of action, it placed 
us in contact with numeraua bands in the direction of , 
Miailmeri, Mezzoiuso, and Corleone, whither I had sent 
Lamasa to collect them, 



1 therefore decided to croaa over by niglit, from the 
ruai! we were occupying, to Pnrco on the Corteotie road. 

Tlie march began before nightfall, but the difficulty 
of the path, along which cannon and all supplies had to 
lie carried on men's Bhoulders, and the heavy rain, 
which lasted all night long, with thick fog, rendered 
this inarch the inoBt diaagreeable 1 ever ptirformed ; and 
it was already broad day when the head of the column 
reached Parco by twos and tlirees. The last of the 
cannon, indeed, had scarcely arrived by the evening — 
and that only by dint of tremendous exertions. 

Tlic same rain and thick fog prevented the enemy's 
knowing of our march till long after our anlval at 
I'arco, The latter place is commanded by strong 
positions, which we seized, erecting on them some 
works of defence, on which we mounted our cannon. 
These positions, however, are commanded by lofty 
mouutaius, and can therefore easily be turned. 

On May 24, the enemy marched out of Palermo with 
a conaideralile force, divided iuto two columns. The 
first came along the high-road which leads from the 
capital to Corleone and iuto the interior of the island, 
passing by Parco. The second, after following the 
Monreale road for some distance, crossed the valley 
aad threatened our rear, flanking us on the left, and 
approaching the pass of Piana dei Greci. 

I should not ha\e feared a front attack, thtjtigh the 
enemy's force was far superior to ours; but the move- 
ment in our rear, along the mountains which overlooked 
us, made mu arrange for a retreat before the enemy's 



arrival. I therefore ordered the artillery and baf^iage 
to start immediately along the high-road, while I, with 
a handful of Picciotti and the Coiroli company, marched 
through the pass to meet the second column, which vas 
attempting to cut off our retreat. 

Our movement was a complete success. I reached 
the heights before they had been seized by the enemy, 
and with a few shots brought the latter to a halt, so 
tliat I found myself with my wliole force at Piana, 
having, by the Corleone road, free acces.'^ to the whole 
interior of the island, and being able to move whichever 
way I pleased. 

The people of Piana and Parco helped us greatly aa 
auxiliary forces, and as guides, especially a Baron Peta 
of the first-named place. 

At Piana dei Greci we passed the remainder of the 
day, letting the men rest. That day we liad to mourn 
the loss of young Mosto, brother of the major command- 
ing the Genoese carbineere, who with their usual bravery 
had retarded the march of the Bourbon troops. 

Here, moreover, I resolved to get rid of the cannon 
and baggage, so as to be less embarrassed in my opera- 
tions on Palermo, by effecting a junction with the troops 
of Lamasa, just then at Gibilrossa. 

At nightfall, therefore, I ordered the baggage and 
artillery to follow along the Corleone road, under Orsini, 
while I with my men, liaving followed the same road 
for a time, turned off to the left in the direction of Misil- 
meri by a not very difficult path through the woods. 

The movement of the artillery along the Corleone 



road deceived tlie enemy, as I had hoped it would. 
They continued their march towards that town on the 
25th, in the belief that tliey were puraiiiiig our whole 
force, when in fact there was only Orsini, with scarcely 
any men. 

I passed with the column tlirongh the wood of 
Cianeto, where we slept, reaching Misilmeri, where the 
population received ua with great enthusiasm, on tha 
following day. On the 26th, we were at Gibilrossa, 
already occupied, with several companies, by our friend 

After conference witli Lamasa and the other Sicilian 
chiefs, inside and outside of Palermo, it was resolved to 
attack the enemy in the Sicilian capital. That day 
several foreij^ers came to our camp, especially English 
and Americans, who showed much sympathy for the 
noble Italian cause. One young American officer took 
his revolver from his belt, and offered it to me with 
kindly courtesy, as a pledge of the interest he took in us. 

Von Meckel and Boaco were in command of the 
Bourbon column wliich was pursuing our artillery 
towards Corleone, in ignorance of our movement on 
Gibilrossa. It must be confessed, to the honour of the 
brave Sicilian people, that only in Sicily could tliis have 
been done. Yes, not till two days after our entrance 
into Palermo, did those chiefs of the enemy know that 
we had given them the slip, anil reached the capital 
while they thought us at Corleone. 

On the evening of the 26th, as night came on, we 
began our march on Palermo, descending by a covered 


path of considerable difl&culty, which leads from Gibil- 
rossa to the road outside Porta Termini. 

Several incidents happened during the night, which 
somewhat retarded our march. The column, consisting 
of about 3000 men, being forced to follow a narrow and 
difficult path, formed a greatly extended line, while for 
the same reasons it was impossible to pass along it to 
front and rear^ to secure greater compactness. A horse 
which had broken loose gave occasion for a few shots, 
quite sufficient to alarm the whole force. Lastly, the 
front of the column having taken the wrong road, we 
were obliged to stop to get the men back into the 
proper path, so that by the time we reached the 
enemy's outposts outside Porta Termini it was broad 

( 181 ) 



A SMALL band of brave men under Tiikery and Missori 
formed our vanguard, wliicb included Nnllo, Enrico 
Cairoli, Vico Pellizzari, Taddei, Poggi, Scopini, Uziel, 
Perla, Gnecco, and other gallant fellows, whose names, 
to my great grief, I cannot recall.* Tliia band, chosen 
from among the Thousand, never thought of reckoning 
the troops, the barrioades, the cannon, with which the 
Bourbon mercenaries had hedged the roatl ontaide Porta 
Termini. They routed the enemy's advanced posts at 
the Ammiraglio bridge in a hwadlong charge, and 
hastened on. 

The barricades at the Termini gate were crossed with 
a rush, and the columns of the Thousand, with the 
companies of tlie Piociotti, followed close on the track of 
the glorious vanguard, vying with them in heroism. 

The vigorous resistance of numerous enemies at all 
points did not avoil, nor the thunder of artillery from 
sea and land, nor a battalion of Cacciatori stationed in 

* BeinR nnnblo to remember the nnmcn of tliune who fgrmed p&rt 

of tlint sacred bnnd, 1 reHolvei] to nuto down l\iv aboTe-ni«ntiaii»il 
mnrtynt uf tbe TlioiisHtiil, an 1 remembered thorn, tliaugh they dii| 
not lilt belong to the vBiiguord. 


the convent of Sant' Antonio, whicli commanded the 
iissailants' left iiank at a distance of half a carbine-shot. 
It was no use — victory smiled on courage and justice, 
and in a short time the centre of Palermo was invaded 
by the soldiers of Italian freedom. 

As the population of the capital were completely 
unarmed, they could not at first expose themselves to 
the tremendous firing wliieh was taking place in the 
streets, not only from the artillery of the troops and 
that in tjie forts, hut from the Bourbon fleet, which, 
raking the principal streets, swept them, with heavy 
projectiles. Ever}' one knows that when a poor city can 
lie bombai'ded with impunity, the savage ferocity of 
such assailants as tliese is excited to its highest pitch. 

Very soon, however, the Palermitans flocked to the 
erection of those civic bulwarks which strike such terror 
into the hirelings of tyranny — the barricades. Colonel 
Acerhi, of the Thousand, a brave soldier in all Italy's 
battles, distinguished himself in directing this work. 

The populace, armed with any weapon they could get, 
from knives to hatchets, presented on the following days 
an imposing mass of the kind which no troops of any 
sort, however wull organized, can resist. 

From Poita Teiinini I reached Fiera Vecchia, and. 
thence went on to Piazza Bologna, where, seeing how 
difficult it was to concentrate our men — scattered as 
they were through that great capital — in a strong body, 
I dismounted, and took up my station in a gateway. 

As I was laying down my mare Marsala's saddle, 
with the pistol-holsters, one of the pistols struck 


. the ground and went off; the hall grazed ray 
right foot, carrying away a piece of the lower part of 
my trousers. " Good fortune never comes singly," I said 
t« myself. 

With the zealous patriots of the Palermo Bevolution- 
ary Committee, I resolved to establish my head-quartera 
at the Palazzo Pretorio, the central point of the city. 

We did not obtain any great contingent of armed 
men from the city of Palenno, the Bourbon party 
liaving taken care to remove all weapons from it. But 
it must be acknowledged that the enthusiasm of these 
honest citizens never failed, either in the murderous 
street-fighting, or the furious bombardment by the 
enemy's fleet, the fort of Castellamare, and the Royal 
Palace. On the contrary, many presented themselves 
to us, armed, in the absence of muskets, with diggers, 
knives, spits, and iron instruments of any kind. The 
Picciotti • of the volunteer companies, too, fought 
courageously, and filled up the gaps in the decimated 
ranks of the Thousand. Even the women were sublime 
in their patriotic impulse ; in the midst of that hell ol' 
bombs and rifle-bullets, they cheered on our men with 
look, voice, and gesture. They flung down from the 
windows chairs, mattresses, furniture of every kind, as 
material for the barricades, and many were even seen 
coming down into the street to help in building them. 
The people luwl at tirst been overcome by surprise at 
our daring entry, but when the first momenta of 
astonishment were over, their courage and iotropidity 
ime given to the SiciliaQH from iho ooontry. 


increased from to day to day. The Imiricadea 
the ground aa if by magic, and I'alurmo \ 
hedged in with them. Perhaps their nnmber was ex- 
cessive ; but there can be no donbt that they had a 
great influence in encouraging the people and spreading 
alarm among the Bourbon troops. Besides, the continual 
work supplied occupation for all the people, and kept 
up their enthusiasm. 

One of the greatest difficulties of the situation was 
our want of ammunition, I'owder-milla, however, were 
set up, and people kept at work night and day making 
cartridges ; but the quantity was insufficient for the 
incessant fighting against the numerous Bourbon troops, 
occupying the principal points of vant^e in the city. 
Tlie soldiers, therefore, especially the Picciotti, who 
wasted a great deal of shot, were continually in want of 
ammunition, and worried me to death to get it. In 
spite of all this, the Bourbons were at last reduced to 
the fort at Castellamare, the Palazzo di Finanze, and 
the Eoyal Palace, with a few adjacent houses, leaving 
ua masters of the entire city outside these limits. 

The stroDgest body of the enemy was stationed in the 
Royal Palace under Lanza, the commander-in-chief; but 
these were cut off from communication with the sea 
and their other positions. 

Several of our companies occupied the openings whicli 
led from the city into the country, so that the ti-oopa 
at the Royal Palace, with their commander-in-chief, found 
themselves absolutely isolated, and after a few days 
began to be aware of a acaixity of victuals, and a lack 

&om ^1 
quite ^1 
IS ex- ^B 



modation for the wouDded. This induced 
Lauza to make proposals i'or a truce, with the immediate 
object of burying the corpses, already b^inning to 
putrefy, and transporting tlie woxmded on board the 
fleet, to be conveyed to Naples, This requirefl au 
armistice of twenty-four hours ; and Heaven knows 
whether we needed it, obliged as we were to manu- 
facture powder and cartridges, and fire them off as soon 
03 made. 

Here 1 must remark that no help in arms or ammu- 
nition reached us frora the men-of-war at anchor in tlie 
harbour and the roadstead — including an Italian frigate — 
in tliose momentous days, wlien we would Iiave jtaid 
for a few rounds of cartridges with their weight in 
blood. U I remember rightly, we bought an old iron 
cannon from a fJreek vessel. The appearance of the 
(!oUinins under Von Meckel and Bosco, returning to the 
capital after proceeding towards Corleone in search of 
ua. was very near making the Bourbon general change 
his mind. In fact, the advent of those two chiefs, at the 
head of five or six thousand picked troops, was an event 
of the greatest importance, and might have been fatal 
to ns. Disappointed in the hope of surprising and 
dispersing us, and infoiTned, on the contrary, of our 
entry into I'alermo, they arrived, Iwiling over witli 
mortification, and made a determined attack on Porta 
Termini. My small force, spread out over the whole 
area of the city, could with difficulty present a sufficient 
contingent to opfiose the enemy's irruption. Neverthe- 
less, the few men of oura near Porta Termini defended 


themselves bravely, and the ground, though yielded as 
far as Fiera Vecchia, was contested inch hy inch. 

Warned of the enemy's progress in that direction, I 
collected a few companies and hastened thither. On 
the way I received information that General Lanza 
wished to continue negotiations on board the English 
flag-ship, anchored in the Palenno roadstead, under the 
command of Admiral Mundy. 

Leaving General Sirtori, my chief of staff, in command 
of the city, I repaired \o the vessel aforesaid, where I 
found Generals Letizia and Chretien, who had come to 
treat with me on behalf of the command er-in-cliief of 
the Bourbon army. 

I have not now before me a, copy of the proposals 
made to me by General Letizia, but I remember very 
well that they included the exchange of prisoners ; the 
embarkation of the wounded on board the fleet ; per- 
mission to introduce supplies into the Royal Palace, and 
to concentrate the enemy's force at Quattro Venti, a 
position with extensive buildings abutting on the sea ; 
and, lastly, the presentation of a declaration of respect 
and obedience on behalf of the city of Palermo to liia 
Majesty Francis IL 

I listened with patience to the reading of the first 
iirticles of the proposed treaty ; but when the reader 
came to the one so humiliating to the city of Palermo, 
I rose indignantly, and told General Letizia that he 
knew very well that he had to deal with men who could 
fight : and that 1 had no other answer. 

He asked for a truce of twenty-four hours in order 



to embark hia wouuded, which I granted, and tlius the 
conference ended. 

Here, it is worth noting, in passing, that the leader of 
the Thousand, treated as a freebooter np to this point, 
suddenly became " Hia Excellency " — a title with which 
lie was annoyed in all subsequent negotiations, and 
which he lias always heartily despised. Such is the 
baseness of the powerful ones of the earth, when once 
overtaken by misfortnne. 

However, the situation was anything but aatisfactopy. 
Palermo was in want of arms and ammunition ; the 
shells had dismantled part of the city ; the enemy's beat 
troiips were inside it, while the rest occupied the 
strongest positions ; and the artillery of the fleet was 
raking the streets, while the cannon of the Boyal Palace 
and Castellamare aided in the work of destruction. 

I returned to the Palazzo IVetorio, where I found the 
principal citizens awaiting me, and trying, with the keen 
glance of southerners, to read in my eyes my impression 
as to the result of the conference, 1 frankly explained 
tlie conditions proposed by the enemy, and did not find 
them inclined to despond. They asked me to speak to 
the people assembled under the balconies, which I did. 

I confess that, though not discouraged, us I have not 
been in circumstances perhaps still more difficult, yet, 
considering the numbers and jxiwer of the enemy, and 
the scantiness of our means, I felt somewhat undecided 
as to the course we should take — that is, whether we 
ought to continue the defence of the city, or collect all 
our forces and take to the country again. 


This last idea weighed upon my mind like a night- 
mare, but I put it indignantly from me ; it would liave 
meant giving up the city of Palermo to the devastation 
of an unbridled soldiery. I therefore appeared, angry, 
as it were with myself, before the brave nation of the 
Vespers, and told them of my assent to all the terms 
demanded by the enemy, except the last. When I came 
to this, I said that I had rejected it with scorn. A roar 
of indignation and approval broke with one voice &om 
that true-hearted crowd — a cry which was decisive for 
the liberty of the two peoples and the fall of a tyrant. 
It calmed me again, and fVom that moment every 
symptom of fear, hesitation, or indecision vanished ; 
soldiers and citizens vied with each otiier in activity 
and resolution. Barricades were multipliad ; every 
balcony, every bit of rising ground, was covered with 
mattresses for the defence, and heaped with atones and 
projectiles of every kind to throw down on the enemy. 
The manufacture of powder and cartridges also went 
on with feverish haste; a few old cannon, unearthed 
I know not where, made their appearance, were mounted 
and placed in suitable positions ; and others were bought 

'rom merchant vessels. Women of every class showwi 

.hemselves in the strecta to encourage the workers and ' 
oae preparing for battle, 
Tlie English and American officers from the vessels 

n the roads made our men presents of revolvers and 
fowling-pieces. A few Sardinian officers, too, showed | 
some sympathy for the sacred cause of the people i 

wliile the sailors of the Italian frigate were on Are with 



eagerness to share the dangers of their brethren, and 
threatened to desert. Those whose allegiance was given 
In the cold and calculating Turin ministrj' were the 
only onea untouched by the sight ; they remained im- 
passive witnesses of the impending destruction of one 
of the noblest of Italian cities — waiting for orders. Or, 
more probably, tliey already had orders to give us the 
ass's kick if we lost, and treat us with the greatest 
I'riendlioess if we won. 

A young Sicilian of a respectable family, sent by me 
on boaid the Sardinian frigate — wldch he only reached 
at considerable risk to himseli' — was told, "You may 
l>e a spy for aught we know to t)ie contrary," and was 
refused a small (juantity of ammunition, which I had 
sent him to ask for. 

However, the enemy became aware of our detennina- 
tion. and that of the townsfolk — for a people resolved 
to fight to the death are not to be challenged with 
impunity. Moreover, despots make a great mistake in 
pampering their proconsuls, who natunUly fiiiii it very 
hard to endanger their persons among tlie barricades of 
the " mob." 

Before the twenty-four hours' armistice was over 
Gonoral Letiiia was announced, and asked me for three 
days' truce — twenty-four hours not being a suSictent 
time to get the wounded on board. 1 granted tlie tliree 
days as well, and meanwhile lost not a second in tlie 
manufacture of gun[)Owder and cartridges, wliile the 
work at the barricades also continueiL The volunteer 
companies from the neighbourhood of the capital 


swelled our forces, and threatened the enemy's rear. 
Orsini also, had, arrived with the remaining cannon, and 
with tiim other companies. Our condition improved 
every day, and diininiahed the enemy's inclination to 
attack us. 

In a fresh conference with (.leneral Letizia, the retreat 
of the troops now in the Royal Palace and at Porta 
Termini, with a view to their concentration at Quattro 
Venti and on the Molo, was hronght under discussion. 
This measure was a clear gain to us. 

The suspension of hostilities, and the retreat of the 
Bourbon forces towards the sea, again inspired the 
people with confidence and daring; so much so, that 
we were obliged to station red-shirts • at the advanced 
posts, to prevent the collisions between the Sicilians 
and the Bourbon troops which would have ensued from 
the intense hatred of the former for the latter. The 
final departure of the troops — as they certainly could 
not remain many days in the confined positions they 
occupied — and the complete evacuation of the city and 
forts, were at last negotiated. 

Great bravery was shown by the Thousand, as well as 
by the defenders of Palermo in general, whose courage 
had not given way for a moment; in fact, the whole 
population were quite ready to bury themselves under 

• The red Bhirtii, few in numlier at the bepnning of the expedition, 
had acquired great importance, inspiring our friends with confidence 
and respect, and our enemies with terror. The Bourbon deputatioiu 
asked for red Bliirts as a protection in passinfc along the streets of 
Palermo. I had ordered as many as possible to be made and 
distributed, in order to increase the inSucnco of the colour. 


the ruins of their beautiful capital — and it must be 
confessed that the result was fully what might have 
been expected. 

When those twenty thousand soldiers of despotism 
were seen to capitulate Imfore a handful of citizens, self- 
devoted to suffering, and, if need were, to martyrdom, 
it seemed like a portent — for, after all, they were 
splendid troops, and fought well. Kejoice, all of you, 
men, women, and children, who helped in your country's 
deliverance! Palermo free, and the tyrants expelled! 
It is quite a matter for joy and exultation. The 
glorious capital of the Vespers, like her volcanoes, 
sends her shocks to a great distance, and at her fearless 
voice tlia unstable thrones of falsehood and tyranny 
totter and fall. 

We lost at I'alermo, among others, the gallant Hun- 
garian, Tnkery. Among our wounded were Bixio, the 
two Cairoli — Benedetto and Ernesto — Cucchi, Canzio. 
Uarini, Bezzi. 




TfiE departure of the Bourboa troops from Palermo was 
a perfect national festival ; the more 80 as, in accordance 
with the stipulated conditions, they left behind them 
all the liberated political prisoners — men of the 
principal families — who had been detained in the fort 
of Caatellamare. 

The sight of tlie men who had suffered so much in 
the horrible dungeons, fiUed the whole population with 
rejoicing, and the welcome given to the noble captives 
was intensely touching. 

I had establiibed my head-quarters in a pavilion 
attached to the Koyal Palace, which commanded on one 
side a view of the whole Via Toledo, and on the other, 
of its continuation, as far as Monreale. Here I could 
enjoy the spectacle presented by the emotion of a great 
and enthusiastic people. The freed prisoners were 
(.■arried in triumph towards my abode by an immense 
crowd, frantic with joy for the liberation of their dear 
ones. I was overwhelmed witli gratitude by them, and 
o^uld not restrain my own tears. 

Then began an interval of rest, which we all needed. 


especially the Thousand. Poor young fellows ! the 
choicest part of the population from all regions of 
Italy, unaccustomed to hardship and privation, the 
ffreater number of them university men — all, with few 
exceptions, were devoted to a heroic martyrdom for the 
deliverance of this land of ours, afflicted by strangers, 
and perhaps deserving of slavery, because once mistress 
of the world. Indeed, tliis conquest of the whole 
known world was a guilty act, which entailed, as 
necessary consequences, the robbery and reduction to 
servitude of the conquered, and universal hatred on 
their part towards the conqueror. 

The Thousand, tlie majority of whom were no sailors, 
had quitted thu discomforts of the sea to plunge into 
the destruction of battle, and by almost impracticable 
patlis bad reached Palermo ; then, driving Uifore them 
an army of 20,000 of the best Bourbon troops, with tlie 
help of the people, in twenty days they freed the whole 
of Sicily. 

The enemy, though leaving us, were doing so in 
order to prejiare for new battles, and we had to place 
ourselves in a condition to meet them again. Enlists 
raent commissions were therefore opened at Palermo, 
and in every part of the island evacuated by Uie 
llourbons; we entered on ectntracts fur arms from 
abroad ; a foundry was established in the capital, and 
the manufacture of powder and cartridges indeiatigab^y 
pursued. Palermo, the drill -ground of desjxitism, 
became in a few days a seed-plot of fighters for liberty. 
It was a fine sight, in the coot hours of the day, to see 

?0L. II. 


those active young Sicilians at their military exercises, 
showing a dash and heartiness which were a real 
comfort to the veteran whose whole life's dream had 
been the deliverance of Italy, And Italy's deliverance 
miglit have been fully accomplislied by tliia time, had 
not the inertia of some, and the malice of others, com- 
bined to stifle national heroism at that glovioiis time. 

Our stay at Palermo, after the enemy's departure, 
was employed in u.^ful works. A great number of 
boys running wild about the streets — for the most part, 
a school of corruption to them— were gathered together, 
placed in suitable establisbmenta, aud trained to the 
life of honest citizens and soldiers. The condition of 
charitable establishments was ameliorated, and all the 
indigent part of the population, as well as tiiose who 
had been sufferers by the bombardment, and the war 
in general, were supplied with provisions. The organi- 
zation of the dictatorial government was also effected, 
with the help of several excellent Sicilian patriots, 
chief among them being the illustrious lawyer, Fran- 
ceaco Orispi, one of the Thousand, 

The national forces, being arranged in three divisions, 
took the name of the Southern Army, and afterwards 
marched eastward in fulfilment of their task of emanci' 

During the fighting at Palermo, a small Italian 
steamer called the Utile had arrived with a hundred or 
so of our men, who, having landed in safety at Marsala, 
reached the capital in time to take part in the last 




The Medici expedition, with three steamers and ahoiit 
2000 men, arrived at Castellamare — a few imles west of 
Palermo — before the Eourlion troops had all embarked. 
Other contingents followed, from all the Italian provinces, 
80 that in a short time we were in first-rate condition, 
and able to detach expeditionary columns to different 
parts of the island, in onler to get the new government 
recognized— an easy matter, our coming ha-ving already 
been hailed with universal acclamations— or to seek the 
enemy, where they were still to be found. One division, 
under General Tflrr, marched for the centre of the 
island. The right wing, commanded by Bixio, started 
for the south coast, and the left, under Medici, for the 
north coast, with orders to collect as many volunteers as 
presented themselves, and finally to concentrate the 
whole force on the Strait of Messina. 

Oeneral Cosenz also arrived at Palermo with 2000 
men, followed by others despatched by various com- 
mittees " for furnishing assistance to Sicily," which had 
been formed in the different provinces, the head com- 
mittee being at Genoa, under the direction of Dr. 

The Cosenz column also went on to Messina, to 
support Medici, then threatened by a strong Bourbon 
force under Bosco, who was marching from that city in 
search of us by way of Spadafora. 

Bosco had left Messina at the head of 4600 excellent 
troops, with artillery, in order to keep up communica- 
tion with Milazzo, and attempt a surprise on Medici's 
corps, which occupied Barcellona, Santa Lucia, and 


some of the surroumiing villages. He did, in fact, 
attack Medici, and, being repulsed, fell back on Milazzn, 
occupying the plains south of it, and annoying the 
whole neighbourhood. We had to rid ourselves of thir* 
hostile force, tiie only one still in the country. 

Warned by General Medici of the movenients aud 
the strength of the enemy, I took advantage of Colonel 
Coiti'a arrival at Palermo with about 2000 men, and, 
without allowing them to land, trajisfeixed part of tJiem 
to the steamer Ci/y of Aherdten, on board which I myself 
embarked. We reached Pattion the following day, and, 
having joined Medici and Cosenz — the brigade which 
was to march by laud had not yet arrived — reaolveil 
to attack the Bourbon forces at dawn on the day after 
iiiy arrivaL 

( 19? ) 


It was only malice and a want of truthfulness tliat 
I'ould characterize as " eaay victories " the battles won 
ill 1860 by the few Italians over the Bourbon troops. 
[ liave seen a gootl many battles in my time, and must 
1 (»nfes8 that tlioeo of Calatafimi, Palermo, Milazzo, and 
ihe Voltumo do honour to the volunteers and soldiers 
who took part in them. The fact that out of six or 
stven thousand men who fought at Milaziio, about a 
thousand were killed or disabled, proves that the victory 
was not such an easy one after all. 

Ueneral Metlici, as has l>een said, hiul marched along 
the northern coast towards the ii<trait of Messina, with 
his division; and the Bourbon general Bosco, with n 
rhosen corps, superior in number to our own, and com- 
prising cavalry, infantry, and artillery, was intercepting 
the principal roail to Messina, using the town and 
fortress of Milazzo as a base of operations Already a 
rpw small skirmishes bad taken place between the two 
armies, in wliich our men had behaved with their usual 
};allantry, lieing opposed to Bosco's chasseurs — a tine 
troop, armed with excellent carbines. 


Tho dawn of July 20 found the sons of Italian liberty 
engaged with the Bourbon troops south of Milazzo, 
the advantage being greatly on the side of the mer- 
cenaries, whose position was much stronger, Beinj; 
well acquainted with the ground, the enemy had with 
much sagacity profited by every natural or artificial 
obstacle to be found. Their right, echeloned in front 
of the formidable fortress of Milazzo, was protected by 
the heavy artillery of the latter, and covered in front by 
several hedges of cactus, forming excellent entrench- 
ments, behind which Bosco'a chasseurs with their good 
carbines could pour a hailstorm of bullets into our 
badly armed ranks. 

The centre, with its own reserves, on the road leading 
along the shore to Milazzo, had its front covered by a 
strong boundary-wall, in which many loopholes had 
been cut. The front of this wall, again, was protected 
by a piece of ground thickly overgi'own with canes, which 
made a front attack well-nigh impracticable. So that 
the enemy, being thoroughly sheltered and well armed, 
could see and shoot down our men at their leisure, 
through the treacherous covert of the cane-ground. 

The Bourbon left, occupying a line of houses east 
of Milazzo, formed a right angle with the lastrnamed 
position, and was therefore able to ])our a murderous 
flanking fire into any force attacking the centre. 

Our ignorance of the ground on which the fight was 
being carried on was the principal cause of the consider- 
able loss on our side, and many of our charges on tho 
enemy's centre might have been spared. 


My first idea had been to attack the enemy before 
daylight, breaking his centre with a strongly massed 
colnmu, so as to separate hia left from the rest of the 
force — capture it, if possible, and thus diminish hia 
8n[jeriority in cavalry and artillery. This plan, however, 
proved impi-actieable. as it was a long time before our 
scattered corps could be gathered togetlier; and the 
general engagement did not begin till broad daylight. 

My principal object, however, having been to shut up 
the enemy's centre and right in Milazzo, where so large 
a number, in addition to the garrison of the place, could 
not have lield out long, I concentrated the greater part 
of our force on tlie enemy's centre and left, where a 
vigorous attack was made. 

The battle-iield being a perfectly level plain, covered 
with trees, vines, and caae-grounds, the enemy's posi- 
tions could not be discovered. I had mounted to the 
roof of a house to try and see sometbing, and had 
ordered a charge along the high-road with the same 
object ; both measures were in vain. Many of our jwor 
fellows were killed and wounded in our charges on the 
centre, and the rest di'iven back without even seeing 
the enemy, whose murderous fire from beliiud the loop- 
holed parapet mowed tliem down. We went on with 
this unetjual but obstinate battle till tlie afternoon. By 
noon our left had fallen back a few miles, and remained 
unprotected ; our right and centre, united in the 
common danger, were holding out, though with difficulty 
and at considerable loss. 

Vet we felt that we must win, and this thought was 


the mainspring of that 8tupenHoiis campaign, where, in 
the most eerions lighte, such as those at Milazzo and the 
Volturno, the tide of battle was against ua for more than 
half the day ; and where, by sheer force of dogged en- 
dttrance and determination never to give in, we suc- 
ceeded in routing an enemy superior in every respect. 
May these so-called easy victories serve as examples to 
our sons when, in their turn, they have to maintain the 
honour of Italy on the battle-field ! 

We had to win! Our losses were greater than in 
any other action in South Italy, and the men were 
tired out; while the enemy had lost few or none in 
comparison — his soldiers were fresh, and their ranks 
unbroken, his positions formidable. Yet we knew we 
had to win. Italians must ever be animated by the 
same feeling, as long as the smallest part of their 
country is crushetl beneath the heel of the stranger — as 
long as the native places of the Trentine Bronzetti and 
the Roman Monti are not ours. 

As I have already said, all the conditions of the 
hattle were in favour of the enemy till the afternoon, 
and our gallant fellows, so far from advancing a single 
step, had lost ground, especially on our left. 

" Try to hold out as long as you can," I said to 
Medici, who commanded the centre. " I will collect 
some scattered detachments and try to make a diversion 
on the enemy's left wing." This resolution was the 
turning-point of the day. 

The enemy, attacked in flank behind their entrench- 
ments, b^an to waver ; we charged boldly in, and 


carried o£f a caonon, which had done ua great dams^'e 
by ricochet-firing with grape-shot along the road. The 
RourlKiii cavalry supporting the gun we had now cap- 
tured made a brilliant charge, and drove our men back 
lor aome distance, so that I was passed by the chargio); 
lioraemen, and obliged to throw myself into a ditch at 
the side of the road, where I defended myself sword in 

This reverse did not last long. Colonel Missori, with 
his usual bravery, appearing at the head of those 
detachments which liad previously carrietl off the gun, 
relieved me with his revolver of my mounted antago- 

The detachments aforesaid were, as far as I can 
remember, Bronzetti's company, and the newly enrolled 
Sicilians commanded by the gallant Colonel Dunne ; the 
rest I have forgotten. 

The enemy, hard pressed by these troops, wavered 
for the last time, and broke into a headlong flight 
towards Milazzo, closely pursued by our whole attack- 
ing line. 

The victory was complete. The heavy artillery of 
the place in vain attempted to cover the Bourbon 
retreat; our soldiers, caring nothing for the hail of 
grape and musket-balls, attacked Milazzo, and by night- 
fall were masters of tlie town, had surroimded the fort 
on all aides, and raised barricades in the streeto exposed 
to tho fire of the fortress. 

The triumph of Milazzo was dearly bought, our 
killed and wounded lieing far more numerous than those 

W 202 


of the enemy. And here I take occasion to remark 
once more on the wretched weapons out poor volunteers 
have always had to fight with.* 

This action, if not one of the most brilliant, was 
certainly one of the most murderous. The Bourbon 
troops fought, and held their ground gallantly, for 
several hours. 

The fate of the Bourbon was sealed. Tlie results of 
the victory were tremendous. , The troops shut up in 
Milazzo were almost immediately obliged to retreat 
into the citadel, where, stirrounded by our barricades, 
and finding themselves crowded into & very insufficient 
space, they were obliged to capitidate, July 24, 1860, 
surrendering the fortress, with all artillery and ammuni- 
tion, and a number of mules for the transport of thu 

Having thus occupied Milazzo, we were in possession 
of the whole island, with the exception of the fortresses 
of Messina, Agosta, and Syracuse, and immediately 
transferred our forces to the shores of the Strait. Medici, 
having occupied Messina without resistance, began to 
fortify the point of Faro, so- that our steamers could ply 
without hindrance between Palermo and our positions 
on the coast. Since the occupation of Palermo, other 
merchant steamers had come into our liands, and after 

* Among those killed in tbis gloriouH fight arc counted Poggi, an 
officer in the Oeuoese carbineers, and one of the Thousand — the 
same who bad so greatly dintiiiguisbed himself at Caialafimi ; aurl 
Migliavacca, of Medici's coqis, uIho a gallant Goldier. CosenK Bud 
Corti were wounded. 


the acquisition of the Veloce* a Bourbon war-steamer 
brought over to us by the brave Commandant Anguissola, 
we found ourselves possessed of a small fleet which 
served admirably for all our needs. 

We therefore occupied the Strait of Messina, from 
that city to the Faro; and in the meanwhile Bixio's 
and Eber's f columns joined us by way of Girgenti and 
Caltanissetta, and a fourth division was formed under 
Cosenz ; so that we soon had a force which to us, 
accustomed as we were to small numbers, seemed of 
imposing dimensions. 

* Which we re-named the Tiikery, after the gallant leader of our 
vanguard, who died a hero's death when we entered Palermo. 

t General Ttlrr had crossed to the continent for tlie sake of his 
health, leaving the command of the brigade to Eber. 




Havixg reached Uio strait, it became necessary to cross 
it. To have reinstated Sicily in the great Italian 
family waa certaijily a glorious achievement. But what 
then ? Were we, in compliance with diplomacy, to leave 
imr countiy incomplete and maimed ? "What of the 
two Calahrias, and Naples, awaiting us with open arms ? 
And the rest of Italy still enslaVed by the foreigner 
and the priest ? We were clearly bound to pass the 
strait, despite the utmost vigilance of the Bourbons 
and their adherents. One day we found an opportunity 
to open a communication — through a Calabrese liberal — 
with some soldiers of the garrison of Alta Fiumara, an 
important fortress on the eastern aide of the atrait. I 
ordered Colonels Miasopi and Musolino to cross by night 
with 200 men, and try to sei^e this fort. But, whether 
for want of concerted action, from fear on the part of 
the guides, or for other reasons, the enterprise failed. 
The men, on landing, met a patrol of the enejny, who, 
though defeated, gave the alarm, so that our men were- 
oblified to take to the mountains. 


This was not a ftivourable prelude to our enterprise, 
and we had to give up our plan of crossing tlie strait at 
Faro, and try to effect the passage elsewhere. Aliout the 
same time Dr. Bertani arrived from Genoa, bringing me 
news that about 5000 of our friends were to assemble 
At Aranci, on tliti east coast of Sardinia, having been 
collected and sent off by him at Genoa, previous to his 
departure. This determination of collecting the force 
at Aranci originated with those men who, like Mazzini. 
Bertani, Nicotam, and others, without disapproving of 
our expeditions into Southern Italy, were of opiuiun 
tliatwe ought to make diversions on the Papal States or 
Naples, or perhaps were still unwilling t'^i submit to a 

In order not to clash entirely with the strategic ideas 
of these gentlemen, it struck me that I might join these 
.'iOOO men myself, and with thom attempt a lauding in 
Naples, I therefore embarked, with Agiwtino Bertani, 
on board the Washingtoti, for the Gulf of Aranci. 
Arrived at that port, we found only part of Uie 
expedition there, the greater number being already tn 
route for Palermo. This circumstance made me change 
my mind about the NeajKjlitan phm. We took some of 
tliQ men on board the Washington, so as to give ttie rest 
more room in their own vessels, and passed on Ut 
Maddolenn to take in coal ; thence in turn to Cagliori, 
Palermo, and Milazzo; and finely back to Funta di 
Faro, where General Sirtori Imd two of our steamere, 
the Torino and the Franklin, in readiness to make the 
cirouit of Sicily from the north-westward, coming 


round at last to Taomiina on the eastern coast of the 

This was a wise and fortnnate resolution. The two 
Eteamers reached Giardini, the port of Taormina, took 
Bbtio's division on board, and carried it safely across to 
Melito, in Calabria. 

Knowing that the two steamers, with Bixio'a division, 
were to start from Gianiini, I left Faro for Messina on 
the very day of my arrival, hired a carriage there, and 
arrived in time to embark on board the Franklin and 
cross over to Calabria witli the rest. 

Here it may not be out of place to narrate a curious 
incident which occurred at Giardini previous to our 
departure When I reached that point on the eastern 
coast of Sicily, I found BLsdo occupied in embarking 
part of his own men and the Eberard brigade in the 
two steamers, Torino and Franklin. The splendid Torino 
already had a large number on board, and was in 
excellent condition. The Franklin, on the other hand, 
seemed to be sinking ; she was nearly ftill of wat«r, and 
the engineer declared that she could not possibly make 
the voy^e in that state. Eixio was greatly annoyed by 
this, and was preparing to start with only the Torijio. 
However, being myself on board the Franklin, I ordered 
nearly all the officers on board to jump into the sea, 
dive, and try whether they could find the leak ; while 
at the same time 1 sent on shoi-e for a quantity of fanu- 
yard manure, in order to make what is called purina* 

" A kiud of plaster, niiule by mixing chopped Btniw with the 
ingTedieat above meutioiicd, lumps of which are ihniet under the 


In this way we contrived to stop the leak to some 
extent ; the engineer was pacified ; and, it being known 
that I was going to cross by the Franklin myself, the 
rest of the men began to come on board, so that by 
10 p.m. we were under way for the Calabrian coast, 
which we reached in safety. 

ship, on tho end of a pole, in the direction of the supposed leak. 
The water, mshing into the opening, naturally carries with it some 
of the straw, etc., and thus the leak is stopped, at any rate partially. 




T(JWARD9 the end of August, 1860, and about 3 a.ra. ou 
■A lovely morning, we landed on the shore at Melito. 
By dawn all the men were landed, with arms and b^- 
gage ; and if the Torino had not run aground, defying 
iill the efforts made by the FranJdin to get her off, we 
might have gone on to Reggio the same day. 

At 3 p.m. three Bourbou steamers hove in sight, led 
by the i'ulminante, and began to bombard men, vessels, 
iiud all They also tried to float thu Torino, but, being 
unable to do so, they set her on fire. The Franklin, 
which had already left, was safe- 

About 3 a.m. on the following day the landing took 
place, and we started for Eeggio. We passed Capo dell' 
Armi by the high-road, and made our noonday halt near 
a village situated between that cape and the beautiful 
sister city of Messina, the enemy's wjuadron keeping 
watch on our movements the whole time. 

Towards evening we resumed our march on Eeggio, 
and, havii^ arrived within a certain distance of the 
city, turned off to the left along by-paths, avoiding 
the enemy's outposts awaiting us on the main road. 


Colonel Antonino Plutino and several Eeggian patriots 
accompanied us and served as guides. 

We made several halts during the night, so as to let 
the men rest and get together all stragglers, and at 2 a.njL 
attacked Beggio. 





The attack on Ee^o was made from the hills, that is. 
from the east, where we found little resistance, not 
being expected in that direction. 

The Bourbon troops shut themselves up in the forts, 
after discharging their arras at us, wounding General 
Bixio, Colonel Plutino, and a few other officers and 
men. The enemy's outposts were cut down, and some 
of them made prisoners. 

On that night one of those accidents took place which 
ought to serve as a warning to young soldiers, and should 
be acrupulously avoided. In night-operations, I always 
recommend the men not to fire — a piece of advice I did 
not fail to repeat several times that very night, before 
the beginning and during the course of the march. 
But in spite of my admonitions, while my young com- 
rades were drawn uji in the principal square of R^gio, 
after having driven the enemy into the forts, a shot 
from the ranks— some say from a window — perhaps 
purely accidental, induced the whole column, consisting 
of about 2000 men, to fire, though not a single enemy 
was in sight. Being on horseback, in the midst of that 



tempestuous square (tlie men were drawn up in that 
order), I flung myself down, and only had my hat struck 
by a single bullet. 

It was not the iirst time I had seen such a panic— 
a tmly disgraceful thing among soldiers, who ought 
always to combine presence of mind with courage. 
However, such panics, unless followed by flight, are not 
irremediable, and so it turne<l out in this case. But 
when the confusion is complicated by flight, and, 
113 sometimes happens, by the action of downright 
cowards, the matter becomes scandalous, and one to be 
punished, not by shooting, but by flogging. " Cavalry ! 
cavalry ! " I have heard the rabble cry, and seen this 
cry cansG the flight of hundreds of young untraine*! 
soldiers, often dragging those who who had seen service 
along with them. Men liable to such disgrace must 
naturally desire their cowardice to be hidden by night, 
tor if such actions took place by day they would be 
exposed to the scorn and derision of the vilest of human 
beings. But, fools that they are I if there really were 
cavalry, which is not generally the case in these panics, 
arising for the most part from the slightest causes, 
wonld it not be better to receive them at the bayonet's 
point, cavalry being only really formidable to a flying 
force. ; I can understjind that, in a cavalry charge 
through the streets or squares of a city, a score of men 
on horseback may disiierae tlionsands of people ; but 
■•ne man on foot with his rifle, 9tan<iing aside in a door- 
way, or behind a pillar, can aim at any horseman he 
may choose, and carry off the tip of hia nose, if he 


iloea not wish to knock hini' out of the aadiile. In any 
ease, panics — to which the southerners are more espe- 
cially subject — are a disgrace to any class of soldiers, 
and the only effectual remedy is absolutely to prohibit 
any firing at night, and only to allow it very sparingly 
by day. 

Having occupied the city, I said, at break of day, 
to General Bixio, "I will climb the heights to take 
observations, and leave you here." My object in this 
was twofold — to find out if there remained any hostile 
forces outside Keggio ; and to look out for Eberard's 
colunui, which had been left behind, &dA was to arrive 
in the morning. 

Scarcely had I reached the heights overlooking 
E^gio, when I perceived a column of the enemy, about 
2000 strong, coming fcom the north, and advancing 
towwxis my position. In starting from Iteggio, I had 
taken with me a small company of infantry, and was 
also accompanied by three members of my staff, BezzJ, 
Basso, and Canzio, who were all obliged to multiply 
themselves that day, on account of the SmaUness of our 
number compared to that of the enemy. I had stationed 
my small force on the highest peak of the hiUs, near 
the hut of a peasant, whom, foreseeing a fight, I ordered 
to retire. I was not mistaken ; the column under 
General Gliio, commander-in-chief of the forces at 
Reggio, was in fact advancing, and now very near. I 
placed my company in a position of defence, and sent 
into the town for reinforcements. 
The situation was a delicate one. Ihe enemy were I 



inany, and my men few, and if tlie Bourboa troops, 
iostead of following thoir favourite tactics of firing 
ilnring their advance, had charged na outright, resistance 
wunld have been impossible, and the issue of the 
conflict extremely doubtfal ; for, the town of Reggio, 
lieing on the sea-shore, is overlooked on three sides by 
the surrounding hills, and if the Bourbon troops suc- 
i«eded in seizing these commanding heights and the 
forts, a reverse for ua was almost inevitable. But once 
more victory smiled on ua. The reinforcements sent by 
Bixio — small indeed, but welcome — arriving, we held 
the high positions occupied at first; and, our numbers 
Iwing sufficiently increased, charged the enemy, who 
iiijandoned the field and began to retreat northward. 

The results of the fighting at Reggio were of the 
highest importance. The forts surrendered after a feeble 
resistance, and we remained masters of an enormous 
mass of provisions and ammunition, while acquiring a 
place on the continent as our base of operations — the 
main point with us. 

In the morning we followed up Ghio'a corps, which 
capitulated the day after, leading in our hands a quantity 
of small-nrms and several field -batteries. All the forts 
commanding the Strait of Messina also surrendered, 
including Scilla, near which Cosenz had landed his 
division, and, in conjunction with Bixiu's, had helped 
to bring about Ohio's capitulation. 

Here I must mention a loss acutely felt by democrats 
all the world over — that of Deflotte, a representative of 
the people at Paris in the lime of the Republic, who. 



proscribed by Bonaparte, had joined the Thousand in 
Sicily, and crossed the strait with Cosenz'a division. 

The Bourbon troops, on hearing of the landing of this 
division, marched down to the shore to attack it, but 
contented themselves with annoying it by slight 
skirmishes. In one of these, Beflotte, who had behaved 
with admirable courage and coolness, was mortally 
wounded by a Bourbon bullet. 

Our mflrch tlirough the Calabrian provinces was truly 
a triumphal one. We made a quick progress among 
a martial and enthusiastic population, great numbers of 
whom were already in aims against ttie Bourbon 

At Soveria, Vial's division, about 8000 strong, laid 
down their arms, furnishing us with an an^)le supply 
of cannon, muskets, and ammunition. Caldarelli's 
brigade capitulated, with Morelli's Calabrian colunm, at 
Cosenza. At last, after a hurried journey of a few days 
from Ee^^o, always keeping ahead of my column, 
which could not come up with me, though proceeding 
by forced, marches, I reached the beautiful city of 

( 21.1 ) 



Ouu entry into the great capital sounds more imposing 
than it was in reality. Accompanied by a small staff, 
I passed through the midst of the Bourbon troops still 
in occupation, who presented arms far more olwequioitsly 
than they did at that time to their own generals. 

September 7, 1860 ! — which of the sons of Parthe- 
nope will not remember that glorious day ? On 
September 7 fell the abhorred dynasty which a great 
Hnglish statesman had called " The curse of God," and 
'in its ruins rose the sovereignty of the petiple, which, 
liy some unhappy fatality, never lasts long. 

On September 7, a son of the people, accompanied by 
a few of his friends, who acted as his staff,* entered 
the splendid capital of the fiery courser, t acclaimed 
and supported by its 500,000 in habitants, whose 
fervid and irresistible will, paralyzing an entire army, 
urged them to the dumolittou of a tymniiy, and 
the vuidicatiou of their sacred rights. Tliat shock 
might well have moved the whole of Italy, impelling it 

■ MisBori, NuJlo, BaKso, Mario, Slagnelti, Canzio. 
t The emblom of N'aplM. 


forward on the path of duty ; that roar would suffict' 
to tame the insolent and insatiable rulers, and overthrow 
them in the dust. 

Though the Bourbon army was still in possession of 
the forts and the principal points of the city, whence 
they could easily have destroyed it, yet the applause 
and the impressive conduct of this great populace 
sufficed to ensure their barmlessnesa on September 7, 

I entered Naples with the whole of the southern 
army as yet a long way off in the direction of the 
Straits of Messina, the King of Naples having, on the 
previous day, quitted hia palace to retire to Capiia. 

The royal nest, still warm, was oca;upied by the 
emancipators of the people, and the rich carpets of the 
royal palace were trodden by the hea\'y hoots of the 
plebeian. These warnings ought to be of some use even 
to the governments falsely styling tlieraselves " restora- 
tive," and should induce them to ameliorate, at least 
in some degree, the condition of mankind. That they 
have not been thus useful is due to the selfishness, 
ostentation, and obstinacy of the privileged classes, who 
do not even amend their faults when the lion of the 
people, driven to desperation, roars at their gates, ready 
to tear them limb from limb in his wrath, which, though 
savage, is well-deserved, and springs natiirally enough 
from the seed of hatred sown by tyranny. 

At Naples, as in all places we had passed through 
since crossing the strait, the populace were sublime in 
their enthusiastic patriotism, and the resolute tone 



Hssiimed by them certainly had no small share in th« 
brilliaDt results obtained. 

Another circumstance very favourable to the national 
iiause was the tacit consent of the Bourbon navy, which, 
ha<i it been entirely hostile, could have greatly retarded 
our progress towards the capital. In fact, our steamers 
transported the di\-isiona of the southern army along 
the whole Neapolitan coaBt without let or hindrance, 
wliich could not have been done in the face of any 
deciJetl opposition on the part of the navy. 

In Naples, the efTorts of the Cavourist party had 
been more indefatigable than at Palermo, so that I met 
with considerable obstacles. Encouraged, after a while, 
by the news that the Sardinian anny was invading the 
Papal Stat«8, they became insolent. This party, founded 
i»n corruption, had left no means untried. They had at 
lirst flattered themselves they were going to keep us on 
the other side of the strait, and confine our action to 
Sicilian soil. For this purpose they had called in the 
help of their magnanimous patron, and a French man- 
of-war had alreatly appeared in the Faro ; but we 
derived immense advantage from the veto of Lord Jolui 
Russell, who, in the name of Britain, prohibited any 
interference in our affairo on the part of the French 

What shocked me most, in the intrigues of this party, 
was tliat I found traces of tlieir influcnoe in men who 
were dew to mo, and whom I had never thought of 
doubting. Men who could not he bribed were overcome 
by the hyf)ocritical but terrible pretext of necessity. 


The necessity of being cowarJs ! The uecesaity of 
grovelling in the mud beibre an image of transitory 
power, and being deaf and blind to the forcible, weighty, 
and masculine will of a people who, determined at any 
cost to acquire a real existence, prepare to break down 
these images, and scatter their fragments in tlie dust- 
heap whence they came 1 

This pai-ty, composed of hired joumaliato, pampered 
proconsuls, and parasites of every description, always 
ready to debase themselves to any extent in the service 
of any one who pays them to betray thou- master when 
he shows signs of falling, — this party, I say, always 
makes me think of worms on a corjise, their number 
showing the stage of eotniption reached. The corrup- 
tion of a people may be estimated by the number of 
these wretches. I had to pujt up with insults from 
those gentlemen who, after our victories, posed as our 
protectors, and who, if we had been defeated, would 
have hastened to give the ass's kick to the fallen, 
as they did to Francis II. — insults which I certainly 
would not have borne, had anytliing but the sacred 
cause of Italy been at stake. 

For instance, two battalions of the Sardinian army 
arrived without my having asked for them, their real 
object being to seciu^ the rich spoils of the city of 
Naples; though, ostensibly, they were sent to place 
themselves under my orders, should I wish it. I did 
express such a wish, and was told that I must obtain 
the sanction of the anibaasador, who, when consulted, 
replied that I must get the necessary permission trota 



Turin. Meanwhile my gallant comi-ades were gaining 
victories on the Volturno, not only without the help of 
a single soldier of the regular army, but deprived of the 
contingents which the noUe youth of all Italy wished 
to send ua, and which were being detained or even 
imprisoned by Cavour and Farini. 

The few days J spent in Naples, following the generous 
welcome given me by the people, were more productive 
<jf disguat than anylliiiig else, just on account of the 
intrigues and petty persecutions of those sycophants 
of monarchy — immoral and ridiculous aspirants, using 
the most ignoble expedients to ruin tliat poor wretch 
of a Francis, whose only guilt was that he had been 
Ijom on the steps of a throne, and tti pat a substitute 
in his place, in the way we all know. 

Every one knows the plot of an attempted insurrection 
which was to have taken place before tlie arrival of the 
Thousand, in order to rob them of the chance of driving 
out the Bourbon, and secure the credit of that exploit 
with little trouble or merit. ITiis plan could easily 
liave betti executed were mouarehies able to endow 
their agents, not only with heavy salaries, but with a 
little more courage, and a little leas anxiety for the 
safety of their own skins. 

The partisans of the House of Savoy had not the 
courage for a revolution on their own account, but it 
was very eaay for thran to build on the foundations laid 
by others, skilled as they are in this kind of appropria- 
tion. They hail plenty of men to plot, intrigue, and 
overthtow public order; and, whereas tlioy themselves 


had taken no part in the glorious expedition, when tlie 
completion of the work was easy, and but little remained 
to be done, they swaggered as our protectors and allies, 
landing Sardinian troops at Naples (to secure the spoil, 
of course), and arrived at such a point of patronage as tit 
send us two companies of the same army on October 2, 
the day after the battle of the Volturno. They showed 
themselves adepts in the noWe task of kicking tlie 
Bourbon now he was down. 

They wanted to oveilhrow a monai-chy only to put 
another in its place, without tlie power or the will 
to improve the condition of the unfortunate people. 
It was a fine thing to see those magnates of all 
despotisms exercising every kind of evil influence ; cor- 
rupting army, navy, court, and ministers ; making use 
uf the crookedest means to obtain their unworthy ends. 
Yes, it was fine to see the mantauvring of all these 
satellites, who haii acted the part of allies to the King 
of Naples, advising Iiim, trying to induce him to adopt 
fraternal measures, and surroanding him with snares 
and treachery. And afterwards, if they had been les.s 
afraid of incurring any personal risk, they might have 
shown themselves off aa liberators of Italy. It would 
have been a glorious result, could they have made fools 
of the Thousand and all Italian democrats. It would 
have been a choice morsel to the palate of the liveried 
liberators of Italy. 

At Palermo, too, as was only natural, the partisans 
of Cavour were laying their plots, and sowing distrust 
of the Thousand broadcast among the populace, whom 



they instigated to a premature annexatioD. Tliey 
obliged me to leave the army on the Voltumo, on the 
very eve of a battle, in order to repair to Palermo and 
pacify the people excited by them. This absence of 
mine coat the southern army tlie battle of Caiazzo, the 
only defeat of that glorious campaign. 



OCTOBER 1, 1860. 

Being obliged to leave the army on the Voltumo and 
return to Palermo, I had recommended General Sirtori, 
my worthy chief of stafif, to send out some detachments 
and cut off the enemy's coinraunications. This was done, 
but it would seem that those entrusted with the task 
thought themselves capable of doing something more 
serious, and, remembering the prestige of previous vic- 
tories, never doubted the feasibility of any enterprise 
on the part of our gallant soldiers. 

The occupation of Caiazzo, a village to the east of 
Capua, on the right bank of the Volturno, was therefore 
resolved on. This fairly defensible position, however, 
was only a few miles distant from tlie main body of the 
Bourbon array, encamped east of Capua, which consisted 
of about 40,000 men, and was increasing from day to day. 

In order to occupy Caiazzo, tliey made a demonstra- 
tion on the left bank of the Voltumo, in which we lost 
several good men, chiefly through the superiority of the 
Bourbon carbines, and because our forces had no cover. 
The operation took place on September 19; Caiazzo was 
occupied, and I arrived &om Palermo on the same day, ■ 


in time to be present at the deplorable spectacle of the 
sacrifice of our men, who, having made a rash, after the 
manner of volunteers, towards the river-bank, and find- 
ing no protection there against the hail of bullets bom 
the other side, were obliged to retreat, while the enemy 
poured their volleys into the flying mass. This wrs the 
result of the demonstration ou the river, intended to 
divert the enemy's attention while we were occupying 
Caiazzo, On the following day, CaJazzo being attacked 
by an overwhelming Bourbou force, our few men were 
forced to evacuate it, and effect a hasty retreat on the 
Voltumo, in which we lost a gi-eat many, shot down and 
drowned in crossing the river. 

The Caiazzo operation was more than an impmdence 
— ^it was a tactical failure on the part of its director. 
We lost, among others, the brave Colonel Tito Cattabene, 
who was taken prisoner, covered with wounds ; and the 
gallant Bosi, son of Major Bosi, also wounded and 
taken prisoner. There were others whose names I do 

While this unfortunate enterprise was in progress, 
our forces were somewhat demoralized by tlie equally 
disastrous result of another operation near Isemia, and 
the revival of clerical influence in the districts north of 
the Voltumo (a movement which gained strength in 
direct ratio to the concentration of the Bourbon army 
at Capua, and the increase in its numl^rs), together 
with the cunning wiles of the Cavourians, who were 
working away to a man to bring us into discredit. All 
this likewise raised the spirits of the enemy, and seemed 


to them to promise well for Uie contemplated gi'sat battle 
wliich took place shortly after, on October 1 and 2. 

The Bourbon army, crushed by so many losses in 
Sicily, in Calabria, and at Naples, bad retired behind 
the Volturno, having its centre at Capun, which was 
being fortified. The foremost columna of the sontheru 
army, as soon as they reached the neighbourhood of 
Naples, were despatched toward* Avellino and Ariano, 
to quiet some reactionary movements excited by the 
priests and Bourbonists. General Tiirr was entrusted 
with this commission, which he executed to perfection. 

As soon as the disturbances at Avellino were quieted, 
Tiirr had orders to occupy Caserta and Santa Maria 
with his division, wliile the other corps were sent in the 
same direction, one after another, as they arrived &om 
Naples, being left in that capital as short a time as 

Bixio's division occupied Maddaloni, covering the 
liigh road to Campobasso and the Abruzzi, and formed 
the right wing of otir small army, Medici's division 
occupied Monte Sant" Angelo, which overlooks Capua 
and the Volturno, and was afterwards reinforced by some 
newly raised corps under General Avezzana. A brigade 
of Medici's division, under General Sacchi, occupied the 
northern declivity of Monte Tifata — a height overlooking 
the plains of Capua, and sloping towards the Volturno. 
All these forces formed our centre, while Torr's division 
occupied Santa Maria, on our left. The reserves, under 
the orders of General Sirtori, the chief of staff, were 
stationed at Caserta, 

( 226 ) 



TuE lat of October, in the plains of the ancient capital 
of Campania, dawned upon a liideous tniniilt — a fratri- 
cidal conflict. On tlie aide of the Bourbons, it is true, 
foreign mercenaries were numerous — Bavarians, SviTsa, 
and others belonging to the nations who for centuries 
have been accustomed to look upon this Italy of ours aa 
their pleasure-ground. This crew, under the guidance 
and with the blessing of the priest, have always been 
accustomed, by sheer right of the strongest, to cut the 
throats of Italians, trainetl fi'oni childhood by the priest 
to bow the knee to them. But only too truly were the 
gi'eater numlier of the men who fought on the slopes of 
Tifata, sons of this unhappy country, driven to butcher 
one another, one side le<l by a young king, the cliild of 
crime, the other fighting for the sacred cause of their 

From the days of Hannibal, the conqueror of the 
haughty Koman legions, to our own, the plains of 
Campania had surely never beheld a fiercer conflict, and 
the peasant, driving his plough over those fertile clods, 
will strike his share for many a day to come against 
the skulls somi by human passions in the soiL 


After my return from Palermo, having ei-ery day 
visited the dominant position of Sant" Angelo, whence I 
had a good view of the enemy's camp, east of the city of 
Capua, and ou the right bank of the Yoltumo, I con- 
jectured that the Bourbon troops were making ready for 
a battle, Tliey were preparing to assume the offensive, 
having increased their numbers na far as they could, 
and acquired some confidence through a few partial 
victories gained over «a. 

Ou our side, we threw up some works of defence, of 
which we soon found the value, at Maddaloni, at Sant' 
Angelo, and above all at Santa Maria, which stood most in 
need of them, being in a greatly exposed situation on the 
plain, -vd\.\i no natural obstacles to tlie enemy's advance. 
Our line of battle was defective, being extended too 
far between Maddaloni and Santa Maria. The enemy's 
centre, practically their strongest point, was at Capua, 
whence, at any hour of the night, they might make a 
descent on our left wing and crush it at a blow, before 
the other divisions or the reserve could come up. Sant' 
Angelo, the centre of our line, though a naturally strong-. 
position, would have reqiiired more time to construct 
the necessary works, and more men to defend its vast 
extent. Beside.?, it is overlooked by the lofty heights 
of Tifata, which, in the hands of the enemy, would 
entirely command it. 

Tlie important position of Maddidoni lind also to be 
held by the whole of Bixio's division, as the enemy 
might, by crossing tlie upper Volturno ■n-ith a strong 
force, and taking the road to Naples, via Maddaloni, 



liave readied the capital iii a few hours, leaving us 
behind on the Voltiimo near Capua. 

The reserves stationed at Caaerta were by no means 
numerous, as we had to occupy so extended a line ; 
besides wliiah, we were obliged to retain some detach- 
ments to keep up communications in front, between 
Moote Sant' Angelo and Caserta on the VoUurno, and 
at San Leucio, so as to prevent the enemy from throw- 
ing themselves between our wings. Santa Maria was 
our least tenable position, l)eing on the plain, defended 
only by the works we had been able to throw up in 
the course of a few days, and offering a favourable jwint 
of attack to the enemy's numerous cavalry, and their 
even more efficient artillery. We had only occupied 
this place out of consideration for its inhabitants, who, 
ha\ing manifL-sted liberal proclivities on the retreat of 
tlie Bourbon army, trembled at the thought of seeing 
their former masters back again. 

If our force at Santa Maria had been stationed' 
instead on the slopes of Tifata, as a reserve to Monte 
Sant' Angelo, our line would have been much stronger. 

Having occupied Santa Maria, we Jiod also to occujiy 
San Tommaro as an outpost on tlie left, and station a 
force along the road from Santa Maria to Monte Sant' 
Angelo, to keep open the communication l^etween the 
two points. All this weakened our position ; and I 
aJviae all my young countrymen who may find them- 
selvea similarly circumstanced, not to risk the safety 
of their army out of consideration for any danger to 
the neighbourhood, whose inhabitants con, after all, 
retire to a place of safety. 


In fact, the weakness of our line disturbed me quite 
as much aa the necessary preparations for an immediate 
battle, for wliich the Bourbon army — more numerous 
and in every way bettor supplied than our own — was 
evidently making ready. 

About 3 a,m, on October 1, I stai-ted by rail I'rom 
Caserta, where I had my head-quarters, and reached 
Santa Maria before daybreak. Just as I was getting 
into a carriage, to proceed to Saut' Angelo, I heard 
firing on our left. General Milbitz, who commanded 
the foi-ces stationed there, came to me, and said, " We 
are attacked in the direction of Sau Tammaro, and I am 
going to see what has happened." I oi-dered the driver 
to go on as fast as he could. 

The noise of the firing grew louder, and gradually 
extended along our whole front as far aa Sant' Angelo. 
With the first daylight, I reached the road te the left 
of our forces at Sant' Angelo, which were already 
engaged, and was saluted, on my arrival, by a hail of 
bullets. My coachman was killed, the carriage riddled 
with balls, and my staff and myself were obliged to alight 
and draw our sabres to cut our way through. I soon 
found myself, however, in the midst of Mosto's Genoese 
and Simonetta'a Lomhai-ds, so that personal defence 
became no longer necessary. Tliese gallant fellows, 
seeing us in danger, charged the Bourbon troops witli 
such impetus as to drive them back a considerable 
distance, and facilitate our progress te Sant" Angelo. 

The fact of tlie enemy's penetrating witliin our lines 
and getting in our rear — a movement which, though 



taking place by night, was well and skilfully executed — 
of course proved them to be well acquainted with the 
country. Among the roada leading from Tifata nnd 
Monte Sant' Angelo in the direction of C^apna there are 
somu hollowed out to a depth of several metres in the 
soil overlying the volcanic tufa of the district. 

Such roads were, perhaps, formed in ancient times, as 
military routes, and tlie rain-water, running down from 
the surrounding mountains, lias no doubt helped to 
scoop them out more deeply. As matters stand, a con- 
sideraljle force, even including cavalry and artillery, can 
pass along one of these lanes and remain completely 

Tlie ISourbon generals, in their carefully-thoi^ht-ont 
plan of battle, had skilfully taken advantage of these 
lanes to send several battalions into our rear, and 
station them, during the night, on the formidable 
heights of Tifata. 

Getting free from the confusion in wliich I had for a 
moment been involved, I proceeded with my staff 
towaitla Sant' Angelo, under the impression that the 
enemy were only on our left; but, going on towards the 
heighte, I soon perceived that they had seized tlieso, and 
were in the rear of our line. In fact, there were the 
Ikiurbon battalions, who, marching by night along the 
hollow lanes I have already mentioned, had broken 
through our line and seized the height^; behind ua. 
Without losing a moment, 1 collected all the soldiers 
lit luind, and, taking the mountain-paths, attempted 
to turn the enemy's position from above. At the 



same time, I sent a Milanese company to occupy the 
Hummit of Tifata, or San Niccola, which commands all 
tlie hills of Monte Sant' Angelo. 

These troops, with two companies of Sncchi's brigade 
which I had asked for, and which appeared just at 
the right moment, chocked and dispersed the enemy, 
of whom a great numherwere taken prisoners; and this 
allowed me to ascend Monte Sant' Angelo, whence 1 
saw the battle raging all along the line from Santa 
Maria to Sant' Angelo — sometimes in our favour, while 
at others our men wavered before the impetus of the 
enemy's masses. For some days past, from Monte Sant' 
Angelo, which commanded a view of the whole of the 
enemy's camp, many indications had given warning of 
an attack ; and for this reason 1 had not let myself be 
deceived by the various diversions made by them on 
our right and left wings, the principal motive of which 
was to force ns to remove pait of our troops from the 
centre, against which they intended to direct their main 

And I had guessed quite rightly, for the Bourbons 
employed against us on October 1 all the force at their 
disposal in the field and in the fortresses, and, as luck 
would liave it, they made a simultaneous attack all 
along our line. 

The fighting was going on in all directions, but most 
obstinately between Maddaloni and Santa Maria. At 
Maddaloni, after various changes of fortune, Bixio had 
victoriously repulsed tlie enemy. At Santa Maria they 
were also repulsed, and at both places left prisoners 


iind guns in out liamls. On our side, General Milliitz was 

At Sant' Angelo tlie same result touk place, after a 
fight of over six liours, but the enemy's forces, being 
very considerable at that point, had remained with u 
strong column in ixissession of the communications 
Itetween it and Santa Maria, so that, to reach the reserves 
which I had demanded of General Sirtori, and which 
were to arrive by rail from Caserta, I was obliged t" 
make a circuit eastward from the i-oad, and only reached 
Santa Maria after 2 p.m. 

The reserves from Caserta anivcd at the same time, 
and I had them drawn up in an attacking column on 
the Sant' Angelo road — the Milan brigade in front was 
supported by Eberard's, part of Asaanti's forming the 
reserve. I also sent on to the attack Pace's gallant 
Calabiians, whom I found among tlie trees on my right, 
and who also fought splendidly. 

Scarcely had the head of the column left the shelter 
of the woods which protect the road in the neighbour- 
hood of Santa Marin, when it was discovered about 
3 p.m. by the enemy, who Iwgan firing shells, and 
caused some confusion among our men ; but only for a 
moment, for the young Milanese bersaglieri of the von- 
guaixl rushed on the enemy as soon as the trumpet 
sounded the charge. 

The skirmishing columns of tlio Milanese bersaglieri 
were soon followed by a battalion of the same brigade, 
which fearlessly cliarged the enemy, according to orders, 
witliout firing a shoL 


The road fi'oin Santa Maria to Sant' ^Vngelo is to this 
right of that from Santa Maria to Capua, and fonna 
with the latter an angle of about forty degrees, so 
that, as our column marched along the road, it always 
had to deploy, when it diil so, on the left, where the 
enemy were in great numbers, sheltered behind natural 

As soon as the Milanese and Calabrians were engaged, 
I pushed forward Eberard's brigade on the right of the 
former. It was a fine thing to see tlie veterans of 
Hungary," with their comrades of the Tliousand, 
marching under fire with the some calm and coolness as 
at a review, and in the same order. Assanti's brigade 
followed up theii- forward movement, and iji a short 
time the enemy were seen retreating on Capua. 

The movement of this attacking cohimn on the 
enemy's centre' was followed almost instantaneously on 
the right by Medici's and Avezzana's divisions, and on 
the left by the remainder of Turr's on the Capuan road. 

Tlie enemy, after an obstinate combat, were routed 
all along the line, and retired in disorder within the 
walls of Capua about 5 p.m., their retreat being covered 
by the guns of that fortress. About the same time Bixio 
announced to me the victory of Ida right wing over the 
Bourbon troops ; so that I was able tii telegraph to 
Naples, " Victoiy all along the line." 

The engagement of October 1, on the Volturno, was 

■ Tiirr, TUker)'. EbemnJ, nnil Dnngorr 
tlie RaiuB bri^ilc wc bad many gallant coi 
both mounted and on foot. 

.ere Unngarians ; and in 
mdes or that uationali^. 

ft regular pitched battle. I have already said that our 
line was defective, being irregular and stretched out 
too far. Fortunately for us, the Bourbon general's plan 
of action was likewise defective. They engaged us in 
direct order, instead of adopting an oblique formation, 
as they might have done, and thus have rendered our 
defensive works useless, while themselves obtaining an 
immense advantage. They attacked us in force at six 
tiifferent points along the whole line — at Maddalooi, 
Castel Moroue, Sant' Angelo, Santa Ttfaria, San Tarn- 
maro, and San Leucio, They thus gave battle in parallel 
order, throwing their full fleight against positions and 
forces quite prepared to receive them. 

Had they, instead of tliis. chosen an oblique order 
(which, being the attacking party, they mif;ht easily 
have done, with an additional advantage in the strong 
position of Capua, oommandiug, as it does, the bridges 
over the Volturno), threatening, by means of night 
skii-mishes, five out of the six points aforesaid, and in 
the same night bringing a force of 40,000 men between 
oui' left and San Tammaro, I have no lieaitation in 
affirming that they miglit have reached Naples witli 
very little loss. 

It is true that the southern army need not in this case 
have been ruined ; but there is no doubt that such a 
course of operation would have proved disastrous to us, 
especially plaeeil ns we were among the impress ionablo 
Neapolitan population. Another circumstance wldch 
contributed to the defeat of the Bourbon troops was 
tlieir habit of firing while advancing. This, the favoaiite 


method of our opponents, was fatal to them in all 
encounters with our volunteers, who, on the other hand, 
always gained the victory by charging home without 
firing a shot. 

It may be objected that this plan of oura may be 
injurious with the new improved firearms ; but it is 
my firm conviction that these only make it more 
necessary than ever. Let us suppose the battle-field 
to be a level plain, entirely free from obstacles. Two 
lines of riflemen are face to face with one another — one 
marching and firing ou the other, which stands firm, 
replying to the enemy's shots. I say that the advantage 
is with the stationary line, the men in which can 
load and fire with more coolness and less waste of 
strength. Tlie soldier, moreover, is better able to place 
himself sideways, so as to oiTer less surface to the 
enemy's projectiles, while the advancing line must of 
necessity be more agitated, and consequently less 
accurate in their firing ; and, alxive all, it is impossible 
for tliem Xa advance ^vithout exposing tliemselves more 
than those do who are standing still to await them- 

With the arras in use to-day, if a line of riflemen have 
coolness enough to await a line of the enemy, firing 
as they come up, the former will, indeed, lose many 
men, but not one of the enemy tt-ill reach them un- 
injured. Besides, there are few places and few 
occasions where some, at least, of a line of riflemen 
who have to await the enemy in position cannot find 
some cover. In this latter case, the numbers being equal, 
not a single soklier of the marching line ^ill reach 


those waiting in position. The enemy's position should 
not be charged at all, unless with a force strong enough 
to throw him into confusion. Any other course than 
this will involve the loss of many lives, without attain- 
ing the desired end. 

Another of our great advantages at the battle of the 
Volturno was the gallantry of our officers. When a 
commander has officers like Avezzana, Medici, Bixio, 
Simonetta, Tiirr, Sirtori, Eberard, Sacchi, Milbitz, 
Missori, Nullo, and others, it is very improbable that 
victory will desert the side of liberty and justice. 




BKsmEs the immortal families of the Cairoli and 
Debenedetti, and many others for whom all Italy 
mourns, all honour is due to the BronzettL 

The elder brother had fallen fighting against the 
Austriaiis at Seriate ; the second died no loss heroically 
at Castel Morone. A third lias been spared to his ^ed 
parents, and this one too ia ready, with the fidl consent 
of that noble pair, to give his life at any time for Italy. 
Such men and women may well serve as heroic examples 
to future generations. 

Wliile the battle was raging on the plains of Capua, 
Major Bronzetti, at the head of about 300 men, stood 
firm against the onset of 4000 Bourbon troops, and 
drove them back, time and ^ain, from the positions 
he occupied. 

In vain the enemy, astonished at sncli valour, called 
on him, over and over again, to surrender, on any terms 
he pleased. In vain ! The gallant Lombard had 
resolved to die with his comrades, not to surrender. 

After ten attacks, but few of his little band were 
loft; most of them lay dead or dying on the field of 



slaughter. Yet the aurvivors, entrenched on the height 
where the ruined castle stands, and animated by the 
example of their gallant leader, would hear of no 

" Surrender, lada ! " i:ried the Bourbon oEBcera. 
"Surrender! not a hair of your heada shall be hurt; 
and yon have already done enough for honour ! " 

" Surrender ? " cried those gallant and glorious sons 
of Italy. " Come on, if you are brave enough ! " 

Having fired away their last cartridge, they met the 
final rush, with the bayonet, and fell every one I Only 
a few, severely wounded, were carried into Capua, 

And where rest the bones of those heroes — of the 
noble Bronzetti ? Will Italy, the land of monuments, 
be able to remember the spot ? 

2,38 AUTOBioaiiApnr of Giuseppe gabioaldt. 



Ketuksixg to Sant' Angelo, on the evening of the let, 
tired and hungry — having had no food all day — t was 
fortunate enough to find my gallant Genoese carhineers 
there, in the house of the parish priest. After a capital 
dinner,* followed hy coffee, I stretched myself out 
delieiously to sleep, 1 do not remember where. 

But not even that night was I destined to enjoy 
any reposa Scarcely liad I lain down, when 1 heard 
that a column of the enemy, between 4000 and 5000 
strong, was at Caserta Vecchia, tlireatening a descent 
on Caserta. This was intelligence not to be despised ; 
and I gave the carbineers orders to be ready by 2 a.m., 
with 350 men of Spangaro's corps, and sixty or so of 
the mountaineers of Vesuvius. With this force I 
marched on Caserta at the hour aforesaid, by the 
mountain path to San Leucio. Before reaching Caserta, 
Colonel Missori, whom 1 had commissioned, with some 
of his gallant Guides, to observe the enemy, brought me 
word that tlie latt«r were drawn up on the heights of 
Caserta Vecchia, extending towards Caserta — information 
which I was shortly afterwards enabled to verify. 



I repaired to Caseiin, to consult with Sittori as to 
the mode of attacking the enemy, whom I did not 
credit with daring enough to attack our head-quarter.s ; 
but I was mistaken iii this opinion, as will soon be 

I arranged with Sirtori to collect all the forces at 
hand and march on the enemy's right flank, that is, 
attack them from the heights of the park of Caserta, 
and thus place them between us, Sacchi's brigade at 
San Leucio, and Bixio'a division, to whom I had sent 
oixiera to attack the enemy from Maddaloni, 

The Bourbons, seeing from the heights only a few 
men in Caserta, proposed to seize that place, being 
probably unaware of the result of the battle on the 
previous day ; and to that end flung lialf their forces iu 
a vigorous attack ou the town. In this way, while I 
was marching under cover, to turn their right flank, 
2000 of them were descending the heights just above 
our head-quarters, wliich they would have seized if 
Sii-tori, who was there in command of a mere handful 
of troops, had not, with liis usual gallantry, repulsed 
them. Meanwhile I was proceeding, with fieueral 
Stocco's Calabrians, four coraparues of the regular 
Italian army,* aad some fragments of a few other corps, 
towards the enemy's right. "We found them drawn up 
on the height, ready for battle, and acting as reserves 
to those attacking Caserta, onr uue-\pccted appearance, 
no doubt, taking them quite by surprise, 

• Tile major in command of these gnllant ielluirs offered lo 
accoropauy mo— an offer I willingly accepted. 



The Bourbon troops, taken unawares, offered but little 
resistance, and were driven back almost at a run, hotly 
pursued by the brave Calabi'ians, as far as Caaerta 
Vecchia. A few of them held this village for 8 short 
time, firing from the windows and from beliind the 
cover afforded by some ruined walla ; but these were 
quickly surrounded and made prisoners. Tliose wlnj 
fled southward fell into the hands of Bixio's corps, 
whicli, after having bravely fought and won at Madda- 
loni on the lat, had I'eached the new battle-field at 
lightning speed. Those who took a northerly direction 
capitulated to General Sacciii, whom I had ordered to 
follow the movements of my column ; so that of the whole 
corps which liad, and with some reason, alarmed us 
only a few men were able to escape. This corps was 
the same that had attacked and destroyed Major Bron- 
zetti's little baud at C'aatcl Morone, and had been de- 
tained there by their heroic defence through the greater 
part of the 1st. Wlio knows whether the sacrifice of 
those 200 martyrs did not secure the safety of our army ? 

As has been seen from my account of the battle of 
the Voltumo, it was decided by the reserves, which 
reached the battle-field about 3 p.m. Had these been 
detained at Caserta by a hostile corps, the battle would 
at the verj' least have been a drawn one. This also 
shows that the arrangements made by the Bourbon 
generals were not so bad, and that the calculations of 
strategists are apt to prove unsuccessful without the 
assistance of fortune or of transcendent genius. 

Sacchi's corps had no small share in detaining the 



above-mentioned hostile column on tlie other side of 
the park of Caserta, during tlie engagement on the first 
day, repulsing its charges with the utmost valour. 

With the victory of Caserta Vecchia, October 2, the 
glorious period of our campaign of 18G0 closes. The 
Italian array of the north, sent by Fariui and company 
to combat the " revolution personified " ■ in ua, found ns 
brothers ; and to this army fell the task of completing 
the annihilation of Bourbonism in the Two Sicilies, 
In order to regulate the position of my gallant fellow- 
soldiei's, I asked for the recognition of the army of the 
south as part of the national array ; and it was a piece 
of injustice not to grant my request They resolved to 
enjoy the fruita of conquest while banisliing the con- 

When I understood this, I handed over to Victor 
Emmanuel t the dictatorship conferred ou me' by the 
people, proclaiming him King of Italy. To him I 
recommended my gallant comrades, the thought of 
whom was the only painful element in my departure, 
eager as I was to return to my solitude. 

I was leaving those noble young fellows who had 
crossed the Mediterranean, trusting in me, and who, 
heedless of every difficulty, hardship, and danger, had 

• Alluiltng to Fttrini'B lettflr to Bonaparte. 

t At another tiina a Constituent Asaembly might hava been coq- 
vciicil ; at that epoch Buch a step was impossible, ooil would have 
resulted in nothing but loen of time and an abtiiird complication ef 
the qoestion. Anneuuions by jtlibiaeilt were then in fashion ; Uie 
people, deceived by political " riug»," hoped overytliing from tho 
reforming action of Government, 


faced death in ten hard-fonght battles, hoping for no 
reward but that already won in Lombardj and in 
Central Italy — ^the approval of their own pure eon- 
science, and the applause of a world the witness of 
their glorious deeds. 

With such comrades, to whose valour I owe the 
greater part of my successes, I would willingly attempt 
any enterprise, however arduous. 




The value of a plant is iii direct ratio to its pro- 
Juctiveneas ; and in the same way, the value of the 
individual is determined by the degree of his beneficial 
productiveness in relation to his fellow-creatures. To 
be born, live, eat and drink, and finally die, is an insect's 
privilej^e as much as our own. 

In an ej)och such as waa that of 1860 iu Southern 
Italy, a man truly lives; he lives a life that is useful 
to the miiltitude. TliLs is the true life tif the soul. 

" Let it be done by those whom it concerns 1 " was the 
general motto of those who, ha\'ing both hands in the 
public pocket, were disposed either to do notlung or to 
work mischief. In consequence of this theory, the 
Savoyard monarchy three times levelled its veto against 
the expedition of the Thousand — the first time, we were 
not to start for Sicily ; the second, we were not to pass 
the Faro ; the tliird, we were to di'aw the line at the 


We started for Sicily ; we passed both Faro and the 
Volturno ; and the Italian cause was none the jforse. 

" You ought to have proclaimed the republic ! " wb 
and is still the cry of the Mazziniaua— as if those 
learned academics accustomed to legislate for the world 
from their etudiea could be better acquainted with tlie 
moral and material condition of the people than our- i 
selves, wlio have had the happy lot of leading them in 
battle and guiding them to victory. 

It is a self-evident fact that monarchies, like Uie 
priesthood, give bitter proof every day that nothing good 
can be expected of them ; but that we ought to have | 
proclaimed tlie republic at Palermo and Naples in 1860, ' 
is false. And those who try to convince ua of the 
contrary, only do it out of that party spite which they 
have, since 1848, taken every opportunity of showing, 
and not because they are certain of the truth of their i 
own assertions. 

We had tiie veto of the monarchy in 1860, and again 1 
in 1862. I think that overthrowing the Papacy was a I 
work at least aa necessary as that of overthrowing tlie 
Bourbons. And in 1862 the task proposed to them- 
selves by the usual red-slui-ts was that of knocking over 1 
the Papacy (assuredly the most inveterate and most \ 
dangerous enemy to Italy), and winning our natural 1 
capital — without any other aim, without any other I 
ambition, than the good of our country. 

The mission was sacred, the conditions the same, and I 
the noble Sicilians, with the exception of a few already I 
comfortably seated at the table prepared by iia in 1860, 1 




replied, with their wonted enthusiasm to the cry of 
" Konie or Death ! " proclaimed by us at Marsala. 

Here it is as well to repeat what I have already said 
on other occasions, " If Italy had possessed two such 
cities as Palermo, we might have reached Rome without 
let or hindrance." 

Tlie venerated martyr of the Spielberg, Pallavicino, 
was Ciovernor of Palermo. It certainly went agaiast my 
inclination to cause any trouble to this old friend of 
mine. I was, however, coa\Tnced that the laissez-faire 
spirit was in itself a crime, sure that nothing would be 
attempted if those who were themselves unwilling to 
remain useless refrained from giving the impulse. 

Hence the cry of " Borne or Death ! " raised at Marsala, 
answered hy the gathering of my gallant followers at 
Kicuzza, a farmhouse of the Selva, a few miles from 
Palermo, where a goodly hand of the young men of that 
city and the provinces was assembled. 

Corrao, the brave companion of Itosalino Pile, and 
other staunch friends procured anus ; Bagnasco, Capello, 
and other illustrious patriots formed a committee of 

In this way, by the help of my inseparable comrades 
during the continental campaign — Nullo, Missori, 
Cairoli, Manci, I'iccinini, and others — a new Tiiousand 
were soon in the field, ready, like the first, to face that 
sacerdotal tyranny which is assureiUy more uoxious 
than even that of the Bourbons. But in the eyes of 
the monarchy, we were guilty of the crime of winning 
ten victories, the iusult of having doubled its civil 



list — mattera whicli kings never forgive. A large 
number of those who in 18C0 shouted for tiie unifica- 
tion of tlieir country, being now satisfied, and in office, 
either blamed our enterprise or kept themselves apart, 
so as not to be contaminated by contact with such J 
insatiable and restless revolutionists. 

However, thanks to the resolute attitude assumed j 
by Palermo, and the quick sympathies of all Sicily, we 1 
were able to pass through the island and reach Catania ' 
without meeting any serious opposition. The honest 
population of this city were efjually favourable to our j 
cause, and their behaviour kept those who certainly ] 
wished to put a stop to our enterprise to the policy I 
of inaction. 

Two steamers which happened to put into the J 
harbour of Catania — one of them French, the other " 
belonging to the Florio Company — furnished ua with 
the means of transport. Several frigates of the Italifin 
Navy, cruising about outside the liarbour, might have 
prevented both our embarkation and our passage. No I 
doubt they had orders to do bo, but, to the honour of J 
their commanders be it said, no hostility was mani- 
fested on their part. I take this opportunity of | 
applauding the ouudiict of those commanders; and f 
being, as I tlmik, fully acquainted with the laws of . 
military honour, I say, in all sincerity, that in such a 
case a man of honour should break his sword io pieces. 

Our passage across the Straits of Messina wag A 
attended with some danger, the boats beiiig greatly j 
overloaded, though, as it was, we had been forced to ] 

Tbe aspromOstb campaion. 247 

leave many men behind for want of room. During my 
life at sea I have often seen vessels heavily laden, but 
never so excessively as in this case. The greater 
number of the soldiers being new arrivals, not yet 
enrolled in their companies, or personally known to 
the officers, crowded on board those unfortunate 
steamers in such numbers that I fully expected to see 
them sink. It was useless to entreat them to leave the 
boats — they scorned tlie bare idea. We were hasten- 
ing into despei-ate danger — perliaps to deatrnction. It 
was a terrible perplexity and responsibility, and indeed, 
for a time, I was doubtful whether we ought to start 
in tliis fashion. Wlio could tell how our country's 
destiny might be affected by that moment's resolution ? 
It was no use giving orders while every man on board 
tJie steamers found it impossible to move from his place 
or even to turn round. The darkness was already 
coming on, and we had to decide whether to start, or 
remain in our intolerable situation, packed like aanliues, 
and waiting for the morning to rise upou our failure. 

We started, and fortune once more took the side of 
right and justice. Tlie wind and sea were exactly 
suited to the state of the vessels. There was — as in 
liur first passage in 18G0 — only a slight breeze on the 
strait, and the sea was extremely smootli. About 
daybreak, having successfully crossed the strait, we 
anchored off Melito, and landed all the men. As in 
I860, we took tlie coast road towards Capo dell' 
Anna, in the direction of Reggio, At that time out 
adversaries had been the Bourbons, whom we were 



seeking jn onler to give them battle ; to-day we were 
opposed by tbe Italian Army, wliicb we wished to 
a\oid at any cost, but wliich was determined, at all 
risks, to find and annihilate us. 

Hostilities were begun by an Italian ironclad, which, 
coasting along the shore in a direction parallel with 
our own, bestowed some aliots on us, obliging us to 
place the men under shelter. Some detachments, sent 
from Re^o to oppose ua, attacked a few men marching 
in our van. In vain the latter signifieil tlieu' determi- 
nation not to fight ; they were summoned to surrender, 
and, on their refusal, fii-ed at, and compelled by fratri- 
cidal volleys to retreat. 

This being so, in order to prevent useless bloodshed, 
I gave directions to turn to the right, and take the path 
to Aspromonte. The hostility of the Italian Army 
towards us had the natural effect of frightening the 
people, and made the procuring of supplies a matter 
of great difGculty. My poor volunteers were in want 
of everything — even of necessary food ; and when, for 
a wonder, we succeeded in meeting witli a stray 
shepherd and his flock, he refused, with greater obsti- 
nacy than if we liad been brigands, to have any dealings 
with us. In short, we were looked upon as outlaws 
and excommunicated men, tbe priests and reactionaries 
having little difficulty in getting these kindly but 
uncultured people to take that view of us. 

Yet we were the same men as in 1860, and our 
object as noble, although we were less favoured by 
fortune : but it was not the flrst time that I had seen 



the Italian people iuert and indifTereDt towards those 
who wished to redeem them. 

It waa othei-wise with Sicily, as one must in justice 
confess; for that generous people were as enthusiastic in 
1862 as before. They gave us the best of their young 
men, and, among other veterans, the venerable Baron 
Avizzani of Castrogiovanni, who bore the hardships 
and privations of the campaign like a man in the full 
vigour of his youth. 

These hardships were no trifles. I know that, for ray 
own part, I suffered from liunger, and I fancy that^ 
many of my comrades suffered far more than I. At 
last, after disastrous marches over all but impassable 
paths, the dawn of August 29, 1862. found us, wearied 
out and starting, on the plateau of Aspromonte. Some 
unripe potatoes were collected, and served as food, 
raw at first — afterwards, when the first pangs of hunger 
were so far alleviated as to enable us to wait long 
enough, we ate them baked. 

Here I must do justice to the kindly mountaineers 
who inhabit that part of Calabria. They did not at 
once appear, on account of the steepness of the paths 
and the difficulties of communication, but, in the course 
of the afternoon, they arrived with abundant supplies 
of fruit, bread, and other things. The imminent catas- 
trophe, Iiowever, allowed us hut little time to proKt by 
their kindness. 

About 3 p.m. we began to discover, at a distance of 
some miles to westward, the head of I'allavicini'a 
column on its way to attack ns. Thinking that the 


level ground where we had been resting during the day 
waa too weak a position, and too easily surrounded, I 
urdered a change of camp towards the mountain. We 
reached the verge of the magnificent piue-forest which 
crowns the heights of Aspromonte, and encamped 
there, frontmg our assailants, and with our back to the 

It is true that iu 1860 we had already been threatened 
with an attack from the Sanlinian army, and had 
required a gi-eat deal of patriotism to keep us from 
entering on a fratricidal war; but in 1862, tlie Italian 
army, being much stronger than before, while we were 
weaker, devoted us to destruction, and rushed upon us 
with as much alacrity as if we had been brigands — 
perhaps with more. There was no warning whatever ; 
our adversaries arrived, and charged us offhand with 
surprising ease and assurance. Such, certainly, were the 
orders. Our extermination had been decided on ; and 
as it was to be feared that, between sons of the same 
mother, some hesitation might arise, it was no doubt 
thought undesirable to give any time for reflection. 
Arrived within long-range rifie-sliot, the PaUa\-icini corps 
formed in skirmishing order, advanced resolutely, and 
began the usual fire while marching — a method which 
I have already described as faulty wlien adopted by the 
Bourbon troops. We did not reply. That moment was a 
terrible one foi- me, forced as I was to ohoose whether 
we should lay down our anna like sheep, or stain our- 
selves with the blood of our brothers. The soldiers of the 
monarchy, or, to speak more accurately, their leaders. 



were certainly troubled by no such scruples. Caii it be 
that they reckoned on my horror of civil war ? Even 
this is probable, and, as a matter of fact, they marched 
up to us with a confidence that made it seem so. 

I ordered my men not to fire, and the order was 
obeyed, except by a few fiery young fellows under 
Menotti, on our riglit, who, seeing themselves charged 
somewhat insolently, charged in their turn, and repulsed 
the attacking line. Oui- position on the height, with 
the forest in our rear, was one of those which can be 
held by ten men against a hundred. But what was the 
use? If we did not del'end ourselves, it was very 
certain that our assailants would soon I'each us. And, 
as it always happens that the attacking party gains 
confidence in inverae ratio to the resistance met with, 
the beraaglieri who were marching on us inci-eased 
their fire to a murderous extent; and, as I was standing 
between the two lines, to prevent bloodshed as far as 
possible, I received two carbine-balls to my own share 
— one iu the left hip, and the other on the inside of the 
right ankle. Menotti, too, was wounded at the same 
time. At the order not to lire, nearly all our men had 
retired into the forest, but all my brave offlcers remained 
near me, and among them our three surgeons — Ripari, 
BasUe, and Albanese, to whose care and kindness I 
(■ertainly owe my life. 

It is hateful to me to relate the miseries I bad to 
endure. But enough were inflicted on ma on tliat 
occasion to have created disgust even in the mind of a 


There were men who rubbed their hands with 
satisfaction at the, for them, happy news of my wounds, 
which were believed to be mortaL There were others 
who denied their friendship with me, and otiiers yet, 
who said they liad been mistaken in singing my praises. 
Yet, to tho honour of mankind, I must confess that 
there were good men, too, who tended me with a 
mother's care, who coidd not have watched me with 
greater love and tenderness liad they been my sons. 
First among these I must ever remember my dear 
friend, Ceucio Cattabene, too aoon lost to Italy. 

The Sardinian Government had won the great prize, 
and woji it just as they desired — that is to say, in a 
condition which allowed them to hope that, in all 
probability, tlie devil would soon take possession of 
his own. 

It is true that they used those commonplace courtesies 
which are customary even towards great criminals 
when led to the scaffold ; but, for instance, instead of 
leaving me in a hospital at Eeggio or Messina, I was 
placed on boartl a frigate and taken to Varignano, thus 
being forced to sail the whole length of tlie Tyrrhene 
sea, with the greatest tortui-e to the wound in my 
right foot, which, though not mortal, was assuredly one 
of a most painful character. But they wanted their 
prey safe and close at hand. I repeat, it is hat«ful 
to me to recount those miseries, and I shi-ink from 
disgusting those who may have patience enough to read 
me, with descriptions of wounds, hospitals, prbons, and 
tho caresses of tho royal vultures. 


Enough, that I was taken to Varignano, in the Gulf 
of Spezia, to Pisa, and at last to Caprera. My sufferings 
were great, and great also the kind care of my friends. 
It was the illustrious Professor Zannetti, the doyen of 
Italian surgeons, who successfully achieved the opera- 
tion of extracting the ball. 

At last, after thirteen months, the wound in my 
right foot healed, and from that time till 1866 I led an 
inactive and useless life. 




About four years had passed since the day when 1 "# 
struck doivn by a bullet at Aspromoiite. I soou forget 
injuries; and, moreover the opportunists — those who 
are guided by the expediency rather than the morality 
of a measure — were well aware of the fact. For some 
time already the cry of an aUiance with Pnissia against 
Austria had bean raised, and on June 10, 1866, my 
friend General Fabrizi came to Caprera to invite me, 
in the name of the Government and of our own party, 
to take command of the volunteers, who were muster- 
ing in great numbers from all parts of Italy. On the 
same day we left by steamer for the mainland, and 
repaired to Como, where the greatest concentration of 
the volunteers was to take place. 

They bad, in fact, assembled in great numbers — the 
usual fine, enthusiastic young fellows, always ready 
to fight for Italy, asking for no reward. The brave 
veterans of a hundred fights were also present, to act 
as their leaders. 

Nevertheless, there was no word of cannon — the 
volunteers were to get thcra as they could; and the 
arms furnished were the usual wretched muskets. 



instead of the excellent carbines supplied to the anny. 
The same miserable parsimony was shown in the 
clothing department, so that many men had to march ■ 
to battle in civilian garments; in short, we found 
the usual annoyances with which the supporters of 
monarchy have already familiarized our volunteers. 

The auspices under wliich the campaign of 1866 wasi 
initiated promised Italy a brUliant result. As a matter 
(rf fact, the result was wretched and disgraceful. 

It is the worst of systems under wliich this country 
is governed, where the public money serves to cornipt 
that part of the nation which ought to be incorruptible 
— that is, the members of Parliament, the military, and 
officiala of every description ; all of them, unhappily, 
men who require but slight inducements to make them 
worship at the shrine of self-interest. Tbe corruption 
introduced by Napoleon III., and multiplied in France 
by Ilia distribution of sausages and wine to the troops, help he required for the covp d'etat, has ex- 
tended into our poor country, whose miserable fate it 
has ever been to ape Iier neighbours. 

Certainly there was no want of cormption in Italy, 
and tlie corrupters were as skilful here as elsewhere. 
But, taking the empire as its model — an empire which, 
starting with a proclamation of peace while its habitual 
policy was a continual encouragement of war (knowing 
that, without war, it could not exist for a moment), and 
devoting its whole strength to the destruction of liberty^ 
and tbe substitution for it of despotism, was a lie from 
the beginning — taking, I say, this empire as its model. 


it was no wonder that Italian society should become 
corrupted in its innermost recesses, or that our army, 
whose destiny it is to be one of the best in the worhl, 
should uot have escaped the contagion. The degrading 
picture was completed by the state of tlie peasant 
element, the strongest in our army, kept by the clergy 
in the state o£ ignorance and hatred of the national 
cause which have had the same effect in Italy as in 
France, as we have seen in the famous defeats of Novara 
and Gustoza. 

For the moment we were withdrawn from the igno- 
minious patront^ of Bonaparte, but, ever unable to act 
<jn our own account, threw ourselves into another 
alliance, less objectionable at any rate — that vrith 
Prussia, whose estimato of us was undeservedly high. 

However that may lie, the campaign of 1866 opened 
with the most brilliant prospects. The nation, though 
its resources had been exhausted by a rapacious govem- 
meat, showed itaelf rich in enthusiasm and self-sacrifice. 
The numerous fleet was to measure its strength against 
an enemy inferior in numbers, and looked upon as 
already defeated ; while our army — nearly double that 
of the Austrians m Italy — saw under its banners for 
the first time all the sons of the Peninsula, &om 
Marsala to Mont Cenis, hastening, in eager emulation, 
to battle with the foe of centuries. It was only the 
insolent ignorance and incapacity of its leaders that 
could have brought about the disaster of Custoza. 

The volunteers, who under a moderately good govern- 
ment might have amounted to a hundred thousi 

were, on account of the usual fear, limited to a third 
of that number, rrnd treated in the usual way as regards 
arms and clothing. And when the catastrophe of 
Custoza took place, only a few thousands were at Said, 
Lonato, and Lago di Garda, while the regiments wMch 
ought to liave followed them were still in South Italy, 
waiting for supplies. 

There was everj' promise of a brilliant campaign, in 
spite of all obstacles — one to rank our nation with the 
first in Europe, to renew her youth, and bring back to 
lier the ancient times of Iloman glory. But it was not 
to be ; the war into which she was led by Jesuitism 
was tfj end in her humiliation. The Government, 
yielding to public opinion, but still hostile to the voluu- 
tetjrs, whom it feared and distrusted as representing 
tlie rights and liberties of Italy, armed a few of them ; 
Imt their arming, their organization, and the way in 
which their wants were supplied, all showed the in- 
iliu'nce of the antipathy and ill-will felt towards tiiem. 

Nevertheless, they were sent on towards the frontier, 
where, in two days more, the battle was to rage. Tlie 
eageraesfl with which the army's movements were 
hastened, and the unfortunate events which followed, 
favoured the concentration of the volunteers. For the 
highei' rin;; had intended, as a consequence of the usual 
Jesuit intrigues, to prevent the mossing of so many 
volunteers together by dividing them into two bodies, 
and leavinj^ half in the south. The reasons they 
puhlialied by way of masking the game were tlie 
merest pretexts. 



Here I must do the King the justice to say that from 
the firat moments when he communicated to me, through 
Dr. Albanese, his intention of placing me in command 
of the vohinteet% he imparted to me the idea of sending 
me to make a descent on the Dalmatian coast, which 
I was to have done in concert with Admiral Peraano. 
It was said that this determination met with unquali- 
fied oppoaitioii from hia generals, and more particularly 
from Lamarmora. 

This resolution of sending ua towards the Adriatic 
pleased me ao much that I complimented Victor 
Emmanuel on a conception at once admirable in itself 
and likely to meet with success. In fact, the conception 
was too fine to be appreciated by certain members of the 
Italian Privy Council, and I was soon convinced that 
the detention of five regiments in the south had no 
other motive than distrust, and a wish to keep tliem 
away fVom me ; in fact, to do pretty much what had 
been done with the Apennine regiments in 1859. I 
therefore had my field of action assigned to me oa 
the shores of the Lake of Garda — contrary to the first 
proposals made, according to which tlie choice of opera- 
tions was to have been left entirely to me. 

What a splendid prospect was opening before ns in 
the east ' 

Thirty thousand men on the Dalmatian coast would 
have been quite enough to overthrow the Austrian 
monarchy ; and we had plenty of sympathetic elements 
and many friends in that part of "Eastern Europe, from 
Greece to Hungary — all warlike popidations, hostile to 


Austria aud Turkey, and needing little persuasion 
to rise against their conquerors. We should certainly 
have kept the enemy in play to such purpose as to 
force him to send a powerful army against us, and 
diminish liis armaments in the west and north, without 
which he could not prevent our penetrating into the 
heart of Austria, and throwing the firebraud of insur- 
rection among the teu nationalities composing that 
lieterogeneous and monstrous hody politic. 

Knowing that I was to operate on the Lake of Garda, 
I re<iuested that the flotilla at SalO might be put under 
my command, which was granted without hesitation. 
But, considering the wretched state in wliich that flotilla 
then was, it will easily be seen that it was nothing but 
a hindrance to me; and I had no little trouble in 
saving it from the more numerous and better oi^nized 
force of the enemy. The crews of the vessels, and tlie 
garrisons of the lake-shore, especially the foi-mer, were 
principally furnislied by the volunteers, particularly 
after the defeat of our army on the ill-omened field of 
Custoza. A whole regiment had to remain at Said, for 
the sole purpose of keeping a look-out on that post and 
the aiijacent shore, as well as on the forts gradually 
being built to guard it, 

General Avezzana, with a sufficient number of 
officers, and a strong detachment of naval volunteerH 
from Ancona, Livorno, and other seaports, had also to 
remain at 8alb for the same purpose. 

The Austrian flotilla on tlie Lake of Garda comprised 
eight war-steamers, armed with forty -eight 

2G0 AnroDiooitApny of ojuseppe gapihaldi. 1 

fully manned, anil furuislied with all needful suppUea. 
The Italian flotilla, ■when I arrivetl at Salo, had nothing 
ready for use but a aiiigle gunboat with one gun ; of I 
the other five vessels — also steamers, nud armed in the 1 
aame way — one was ashore, useless, and the engines of I 
the other four out of order. It is true tliat we set 
to work at once to get them in motion ; but by the entt 
of the war, the five gunboats, Tiuth a twenty-four- I 
pounder a-piece. were only just ready. Tliat is to say, 
we had five twenty-four-pounders ; wliile the enemy I 
reckoned forty-eight guns of a cnlibie from eighty 1 
pound.s downwards. 

We also worked at the construction and arming of J 
rafts, which might ha^e proved of considerable service; 
but the want uf necessaries and the alow progress of th& j 
work prevented u.i from ever ha^'ing a single one fit toij 
be towed acrDSS the lake. 

( 261 ) 



All our regiiiieiits beinj; aiimiiioiied to the western 
sliore of tlie Tjtke of G-aitla, and having orders to carry 
ou oi>er.ition3 in the Tyrol, I pushed on the second 
regiment and the second rifles towards Caffaro, to seize 
that bridge and the strong position of Monte Suello, 
a mana?uvre which was hotli promptly and gallantly 
carried out, tlie Austrians being driven from the gi-ound 
in a brilliant skirmish. 

Tliis was a good beginning to our campaign, and, ■with 
the rest of the regiments at ray disposal, I was pre- 
paring to follow up onr gallant vanguard into the 
Tyrol, when the fatal battle of Juue 24 took place. 
The unfortunate result of that engagement having been 
I'ominunicaled to nie by <ieiieral Lainarniora, alon;j; 
with orders to cover Brescia, and not to count on the 
support of the army, which was retiring liehind the 
Oglio — I recalled the vanguard from the Tyrol, and 
l>e^an at once to think of concentrating all available 
forces on Lonato ; a point which, besides covering the 
two positions of Brescia and Sali), might also, I thought, 
be useful in collecting the scattered men and supplies 
of tlie army — as, in fact, it turneil out. 


Our gallant volunteers, ricli only in patriotism and 1 
enthusiasm, came forwaid at my orders, by forced I 
marches, towards Lonato; but, armed as they were J 
with inferior muskets, and in want of tlie principal.] 
items of a soldier's outfit, with which they had to I 
provide themselves ou the march, it was difficult for ■] 
them to make tlie journey quickly, especially the J 
regiments from the south. 

In the days which followed the disastrous 24th of June, I 
we occupied Lonato and Deseuzano, with advanced I 
posts at Rivoltella, first with one regiment, afterwards I 
with several, which took up their positions ready for ■ 
battle immediately on arriving, as it seemed very I 
probable that the Austriana would not remain inactive i 
after the retreat of our army. However, the regiments 
from the south, in spite of every effort they made to < 
advance, would not liave arrived in time to help us ] 
had the enemy made use of their advantages and I 
attacked us ; and it seems to me that, on or about the J 
26th (the probable day of their appearance), we could 1 
not liave opposed to them more than 8000 men, 1 
with one mountain battery, and one twenty-four- 
pounder from the flotilla, mounted on tlie height above. I 
Lonato. From all this it may be inferred that the I 
resolution of holding Lonato i^ainst the viptorioua 1 
Austrian array, should the latter advance, was some* 
what risky ; yet, nevertheless, it was productive of J 
much advantage. The Italian volunteers may well be ■ 
proud of it, and I liope my younger readers will dednoe I 
from it the lesson not to retreat before an enemv. 


however strong, witliont having first seen and carefully 
examined liis numbers, and eoolly calculated the injury 
and disgrace which may result from an over-hasty 

Holding T^nato. Desenzano, our outposts at Rivol- 
tella, and the country to the right* of our front as far 
as Pozzolengo, we were, in fact, as we had been ordered, 
covering Brescia, as well as Salb, with its arsenal, the 
depots, and the flotilla ; and were enabled, to our great 
satisfaction, to collect the stragglers of the army and 
some of the baggage-trains. 

I am sorry to seem to kick those who are down, and 
should not wish my opinion on the devotion of the 
Eirmy to be set down to vindictiveness. Yet it must be 
confessed that, when every one expected brilliant results 
from a brilliant army double the number of the 
enemy's force, with immense resources, the first artillery 
in the world, great enthusiasm among the troops, and 
great courage, — it must be confessed, I repeat, that it was 
a terrible blow to find nil these hopes disappointed in 
a moment, and that splendid army retreating in con- 
fusion, without being pursued by the enemy, behind 
a river thirty miles off, and leaving almost the whole of 
Lombardy unprotected. 

The main army retreated from the Mincio to the 
Oglio, and that after liaving fought a battle. But 
why did the army on the right, the anny of the Po, 
retreat? With 90,000 men, and a river like the Po 
right in front, that army retreated— pursued by whom ? 
The enemy had 80,000 men on the Mincio, and though 


victorious, those 80,000 must, after an engagement with | 
a superior force, ut the very least be tired autl h 
lost some of their number. And why full back fi 
the I'o on the Apennine-i? I caunot give a reason I 
for it, 

I (to not know the Austrian general who commanded-^ 
nur enemy in 186G, but lie must be a military genius,- j 
having defeated an army twice as numerous as liis own, i 
and composeil of soldiers who, individually, were afel 
lejist etpial to his men. 

The Prussian victories in the north certainly had I 
some influence in checking Iiis course ; but vrith a little I 
more determination, he might easily have shattered my 1 
force of 8000 men and no artillery, and have come ta | 
take his pleasure in the country, in the heart of Lom- 
bardy and Piedmont, with a strong probability of ] 
obtaining peace on very favourable terms. 

Among the volnnteers, however, there was neitlierl 
confusion, nor fear, nor lack uf concert. All grieved,! 
tiver that national disaster, but not one was trouUedfl 
by any feeling of distrust in the destiny of his coanti7,a 
and the same which bad stimulated those \ 
brave young fellows to leave their homes, not only 
lasted, but increased in our delicate and precarious , 
position. War, fighting — that was what they all de- f 
manded ; and if they could have had at least a month | 
of organization and drill, and had 1>een decently armed, 
they would liave worked miracles. Tliinking quietly j 
over the causes of our overthrow, and leaving entirely j 
out of the question the infapacity of certain commanders, J 



aad the disaffection of the peasant element towania 
the national cause, one may, with the impartiality of 
history, lay it down lioldly as an established fact that 
the plan of campaign adopted from the beginning was 
defective. Its weak point consisted in always trjTng to 
beat the enemy's wliole force with the half of our own, 
while the Austrian general defeated Iialf uur army with 
the whole of liis own — a system wliich generally ensnres 
victory for the side aclopting it, and of which there are 
many examples in military history. 

The Italian army was divided into two sections — one 
of i:iO,lJOO men on the Mincio ; the other of 90,000 on 
the I'o — both, ns will be seen, superior to the Austrian 
army, whicli numl«red barely 80,000 men outside its 

The first blunder made by our commander-in-chief 
seems to me tu be Iiia threatening various jwints with 
divisions, or at most with army corps, and then, with 
only a body of about 80,000 men, dealing the decisive 
blow at the full strength of the hostile army. 

The mouths of the I'o would, I think, have been tlie 
most suitable jtoint for the passage of our large army, 
as we could then have procured all the steamei-s and 
boats retiuii'ed, and, once in possession of botli banks 
of the great river, could have brought up, in a short 
time, our whole force with supplies. By this means, 
when the Aiistrians approached to give battle, they 
would at least liave been deprived of the support of 
the terrible Quadrilateral. 

Tlie Austrian general, profiting by our errors wisely 


concentrated as large a force as he could in the en-virons 
of Verona, and full upon the half of our army stationed 
on the Mincio, wliich took the initiative. 

Not very many years before. Napoleon I. had nia- 
n03u\Tecl in a similar manner, and, leaving the siege of 
Mantua, had defeated tlie two halves of the Austrian 
army, one after tlie other, on either shore of the Lake 
of Garda, They had made the mistake of separating 
in order to attack liim, putting the lake between them ; 
the great captain anticipated their intention, and cnished 
them bfttli. 

After the great battle of Custoza, we held the positions 
of Lonato and Desenzano, till we received orders from 
head-quartera to recommence operations in the Tyrol, 
the army being once more in a state to assume the 

Leaving the second regiment to cover Salo, the flo- 
tilla, and the most important points on the lake as far 
as Gargnano — the whole under the orders of General 
Avezzana— and having completed the batteries which 
wei'e to defend the western shore, we once more marched 
towards the CaSaro, with the first and tliirtl regiments 
and the first battalion of bersagherL 

The enemy, meanwhile, encouraged by the victory at 
Custoza, had, after our abandonment of the CaffJaro, 
strongly garrisoned tliis position and Monte Suello. 
I resolved to dislodge them by a coup dc main, in order 
to open the way into the Tyrol. Leaving Salb at dawn 
on July 3, I reached Rocca d'Anfo about noon, and 
there found Colonel Corte, at that lime in command A 

umand -gi 


the van (consisting of the tliree corps aforesaid), who 
had alretuly made his atrangenients for driving the 
enemy from our fi-ontier. 

He liad sent Ifajor Mosto. with 500 men, towards 
llagolino by tlie mountain road and through the com- 
manding valleys of Eocca d'Anfo, with the object of 
making a division on the right, and in the rear, of the 

Discovering, from Kocca d'Anfo, an Austrian outpost 
at Sant' Antonio, ahout a cannon-shot from the fortress, 
we tried to turn that also, by sending a detachment of 
the first bersaglieri, under Captain Bezzi, over the 

Neither of the two detachments succeeded in making 
a diversion, owing to the difficulty of the roads and the 
heavy rain which was falling. Perliaps I reckoned too 
confidently on tlie pluck of the gallant volunteera, and 
ought to have deferred the attack till next day, the 
soldiers being worn out and wet through, and their 
anna and ammunition in a deplorable state. But, 
counting on the eflect of a brisk, unexpected attack, and 
above all on the enthusiasm of men whom I had known 
to overcome far greater ohatacles, I decided on fighting. 

About 3 p.m. I perceived Captain Bezzi's signal, he 
having reached the point agreed upon, over tlie moun- 
tains to the left, and gave oniers for the attacking 
column, wliich had till then remained under cover of 
the fortress, to march forward at the quick pace, and 
fall upon the enemy. Colonel Corte, marching at the 
head of the column with bis statT, arranged the 


attack, with tliat coolness whicli dUtinguiahes him, in 
gowl order, and witli a daah worthy of Italian 

For a wliile all went weU, and tlie enemy began to 
fall back ; but they were soon reinforced by the reserves 
which covered the heights of Monto Suello, while our 
laen, finding the ground more and more difficult, were 
at last checked in their nisb ; and a large number of 
wounded, retuniing along the road, supported by tliMr 
<;omra<les, threw the column into some confusion. We 
lost one of our best officei-s, Captain Bottino, and many 
other brave men. Our wounded were certainly more 
numerous than those of the enemy — the usual privilege 
reserved for Italian volunteers by the usual privy 
council, which forces them to fight with inferior against 
improved weapons. Here, moreover, it was a queatjon 
of Tyrolese carbines, the enemy's coi-ps being entirely 
composed of those mountaineers. There was not, 
strictly speaking, a fliglit — fear did not seize upon our 
young aoldiera ; but they wem worn out by the fatigues 
of previous marches and the difficult ground over whicli 
they had to advance to the attack. Tlie greater 
number^ — especially the third regiment, who were un- 
provided with cartridge-pouches — had not a single dry 
cartridge about them, to say nothing of the wretched 
muskets, whicli would not go off, or, if they did so, 
failed to reach the enemy, who, armed with magnificent 
carbines, poured never-ceasing volleys into us. 

In short, the day remained undecided, and we con- 
tinued to occupy our former positions under Monte 


duello. Being wounded in the left thigli, I waa 
obliged to retire, leaving the command to Colonel Corte, 
who held liia ground hravely all the rest of the day, 
with the gallant co-operation of Colonel Bruzzesi. of the 
third, in the positions we had gained. 

At dawn, on the 4th, the enemy having retired from 
Monte Suello, we occupied timt position with Cuiroli's 
battalion of the ninth regiment, wliicli I had picked up 
on the Barghe road on the preceding day, and ordered 
to marcli forward. Ou the same day we occupied 
Bagolino and the Catl'aro, The rest of the volunteer 
corps, still unprovided with necessaries, were ad\'aneing 
towards the Tyrol, but slowly, bi'tng obliged tu supply 
themselves on the march. 

Lodrone and HaKio were occupied after a sliglit re- 
sistance, and finally Ponte Uazir) and Storo, where I 
established my head-quartei-s. Storo, a small village at 
the junction of the two valleys of CSiudicaria and 
Ampola, might l}e of importance to us ; but in order to 
make it ao in reality, we had to occupy the heights 
above it, especially Rocca I'agnna, a lofty peak over- 
hanging Storo with an almost vertical cliff. 

Besides this, to penetrate into the valley of Giudi- 
caiia, it was absolutely necessary first tu seize the fort 
of Ampola, which commands the \'alley of the same 
name, while looking into the Val di Ledro, wlience the 
enemy miglit issue fortli, and, seizing Storo and Ponte 
Dazio, cut us off from Brescia, our base of operations. 

Having covered our left by tlie occupation of Condiuo 
and tlie western heights, our whole care was now 


devoted to surrounding the fort of Ampola by scaling 
tlie heiglita above it. 

About the same time we were joined by the famous 
eighteenth brigade, under ilajor Bogliotti, with fifteen 
splendid twelve-pounders. Judging from the action of 
these guns, I was enabled to form an exact idea of the 
value in general of our Italian artillery, wliich I esteem 
with pride as second to none in the world. On July 16, 
the enemy attempted to dislodge us from Condino. 
Our men had, contrary to my orders, pushed on from 
Condino to Cimego, and occupied the bridge over tUe 
Chtese at the latter place, without posting any troops 
on tlie heights — an indispenauble precaution in that 
mountainous countr)', to protect all forces in the valleys. 

The enemy, with a force in every respect superior, 
repulsed our men from Cimego, and had it not been for 
a few of our excellent guns, lately arrived, the engage- 
ment would have cost us dear. Fortunately our losses, 
though greater tlian those of the enemy, were not 
heavy. Here, as elsewhere, they were caused by the 
inferiority vi our weapons. Major Lombai-di, one of 
the heroes of all Italian battles, and one of my beat 
officers, fell that day on the field. On the same day, as 
I was driving back from Condino to Store, an Austrian 
ambuscade on Rocca Pagana fired at us for a time, but 
without wounding any one. Colonel Guastalla dis- 
tinguished liimself greatly that day at Condino, while 
the gallant General Haug and Major Dogliotti, who 
were entrusted with the siege of the fort of Ampola, 
soon brought it to a successful conclusion. The 



voluuteera, clambering up the steep mountains which 
overtook the fort, pressed the besieged so liard that 
they could not show their faces anywhere, and at 
last completely surrounded it. The t^uns, carried 
up on the shoulders of the lueu, or dragged up the 
precipices with rupes, soon knocked into lieaps of 
atones, not the casemates, which were of great solidity, 
but the houses adjacent to them. Many shells fired by 
our brave gunners reached those of the fort, and 
diminished their numbers. One of out guns, stationed 
on the road by tlie gallant Lieutenant Alasia, who lost 
his life in the exploit, diil a great deal towards discon- 
certing the enemy. At last, after a few days' siege, 
witli cannonading and musketry fire, this small but, to 
ua, exceedingly important stronghold surrendered. 

War in the Tj'rol, as in all mountainous countries, 
can only be carried on by keeping possession of the 
heights. It would be vain to attempt, even with 
great odds in one's favour, to pursue the enemy in the 
valleys. The latter, with excellent sharpsliootera on 
the peaks and slopes of the mountains, would always 
make havoc of the troops advancing along the valley 
i-oads. For this reason — except at Monte Suello, where, 
perhaps through impatience, we did not observe the 
rule — all operations during our advance were preceded 
by the occupation of the surrounding heights ; and 
however skilled the Tyrolese jdgcr may be in thia 
kind of war, aud brave soldiers as they undoubtedly 
are— armed, moreover, with excellent carbines, which 
they handle with surpassing dexterity — they do not 

272 AUTOsioonApny of giuseppe oaiujialpl 

know Low to resist when an enemy succeeds in gaining 
the heights ahove them. Our ohstinacy in pressing on 
was always rewarded hy success, though alloyed witli ] 
cousiderahle losses, and this success was especially j 
owing to our occupation of the heights. " Acting the 1 
eagle " was therefore the prevailing watchword of the 
volunteers, who were always particularly recommended i 
to scale the heights before attempting a forward march I 
through the valleys. This maxim ought also to be 
observed in retreating, when the ground and other j 
circumstances permit, Tlie surrender of the fort oC ] 
Ampola, and the occupation of the chain of mountains 
stretcliing from Eocca Pagnna to tlie summits of Burelli, 
Giovio, and Cadre, dominating the two valleys of Ledro \ 
and Giudicaria, opened an easy way into Val di Ledro, 
and allowed ua to push on the head of our right-haud 
column as far as Tiamo and Bezzecca. 

Our movement on the right in Val di Ledro was all " 
the more important as it was on this side that we had to I 
protect the junction of the second regiment, which had I 
advanced by Monte Nota towards Pieve, Molina, and j 
the Lake of Card a — contrary to my orders, which 
directed it to march through Val Lorina, to assist ia 
the siege of Ampola. This regiment had insubordi- 
nately chosen a route too far to the right, running the J 
risk of bouig entirely destroyed hy the enemy ; though J 
the companies which composed it had, singly, fought \ 
with great bravery against superior forces of the 

I have already said that I left the second at Salut 



to protect the flotilla, oraenal, aud fortB. The tenth 
had tlien taken tlie place of the second, which received 
orders to march through Val Tostina on our rifiht, 
scale the mountain ridge, and descend through Val 
Lorina on Ampola. Many fatigues and hardships were 
suffered by tlie second on this march, and not a few 
hlundera committed. If the surrender of Amiwla had 
taken place one day later, or if we hail delayed to 
occupy Bezzecca, this regiment would certainly have 
l>een lost, as will aj'pear from tho aeiiuel. 

Ah I wa'3 auxious about the occupation of Val di 
Ledro, principally for the sake of securing the junction 
of the second regiment, I had ordered General Itaug 
to leave the siege of Aiupola to Major Dogliotti, and 
transfer himself, with as many men as could be spared 
from the siege, into that valley. It was a difficult 
undertaking, so long as the fort still held out ; and, in 
fact, waa found to be impossible of execution. It is 
true that, Ilaug's brigade being composed of the third 
regiment and part of the second, and the men of the 
former nearly all occupied in the siege works, while 
of the latter only a few companies were at Ampola, it 
was certainly not easy to obey my orders. 

However, I was anxious about tlie fute of the second, 
and lost not a moment, after tho surrender, in sending 
to Val di Ledro the fifth regiment, the only one remain- 
ing in reserve, with some companies of the variona 
regiments wliich had contributed to liring about the 
capitulation of Ampola, and two battalions of the 
ninth, then occupying the heights of Monte Giovio. 


It was high time that a mo\'ement should be wade 
on Val di Ledro, for the enemy, liaving assembled 6000 
of their best soldiera, were descending the valley of 
Conzei to Bezzecca, with the intention of cutting off 
from ua, and annihilating, the detacliments of the 
second regiment, Tlie valley of Conzei, running fronf 
north to south, joins the Viil di Ledro at Bezzecca, 
forming a right angle with it. 

On the 20th, the i^oad to Ainpola being open 
after the sui-render of the fort, the liend of our right 
column occupied that vill{^,'e, and during the night « 
battalion of the fifth, under Commander Martinelli, was 
sent to reconnoitre on the eastern heights. 

This battalion — thi-ough whose fault I do not know ; 
it may have been by accident— found itself at dawn 
surrounded by a considerable Austrian force. Its 
remnants, pursued by the enemy, fell back on the wain 
column, occupying Bezzecca and the adjacent villages 
to the nortli ; and here a serious combat began. 

( 275 



The enemy, elated with their first successes, drew 
near with a during to which we were little accustomed, 
and dislodged us, bit by bit, from the whole valley of 
Conzel In vain we had stationed in front of Bczzecca 
a battery of eight pieces, which fired on them for a 
time ; iu vain our officers, heedless of the personal risk, 
attempteil to check their advance by chai^ng at the 
head of their men. All our positions as far as Ilezzecca 
were gained by the enemy, who not only occupied that 
villi^, but pushed further on, and threw out a detach- 
ment on our right, soutli of tlio Val di Ledro, to attack 
us in llauk. 

r had left Storo at dawn, in a carriage, being still 
disabled by my wound of June 3. From information 
received I did not expect to find my men engaged in so 
fierce a conflict. However, on leaving Storo, I had 
given tlie ninth regiment and first bersaglierl orders to 
march, in the same direction as myself, at 3 p.m, 
Arrived in the neighbourhood of Bezzecca, the sound 
of firing apprised lue of the battle that was going on. 
I sent for Haug, to make in<iuiries of him, and gathered 
from his answers that a serious affair was on hand. 


We agreed to have the heights ou the left occupied 
hy the battalions of the niiitli regiinont, which were 
bt^iuning to arrive. It was well we did so, for tlie 
first advantage gained during the day was derived from 
the occupation of these positions by the biiive fellows 
of that regiment, led — I say it with pride — by my sou 
Menotti, The two battalions of the ninth were 
commanded by Cossovjch and Vico I'ellizzari, both of 
the Thousand, and quite worthy of the distinction. 

In the centre and on our right, the volunteers were 
retreating along with the above-mentioned battery, 
keeping up tlieir fire while doing so, and on the whole 
behaving gallantly. In this battery, the horses belong- 
ing to one piece were killed, and its gunners killed or 
wounded, all but one. This gallant fellow, after sending 
his last projectile at the enemy, mounted astride his gun, 
as coolly as if he had been at a review, lleanwhile 
Major Dogliotti informed me that there was a fresh 
battery in the rear. " Forward ' " I cried, and in a few 
minutes the brave fellows amved at a gallop, turned tn 
the right, mounted their sLx guns on a piece of gently 
rising ground, and opened firo on the enemy with shots 
that followed one another so quickly that they seemed 
to proceed from musketry rather than cannon. 

Of the six pieces in retreat three were added to the 
fresh battery, which formed a total of nine formidable 
pieces of ordnance. 

All the officers of my staff, aiul as many more as 
happened to come ^vitliin earshot, had orders from me t^i 
pick up men where they could and push them forward. 



Canzio, Eicciotti, Catiolati, Damiani, Ilavini,and others, 
rushed forward at the head of a little band of 
heroes, and, siipimrted on the left by tlie intrepid ninth, 
put the enemy, whose ranks were already broken by 
our artillerj' practice, to flight, driving them beyond 
Bezzecca and the adjacent villages. The Austriana 
(iould do no more, and entered ujjon a complete retreat, 
abandoning all the positions they had gained, a long 
way up the valley of Conzei, and in the mountains to 
the east. 

This fight of July 21, the most seiious and mur- 
derous of the whole campaign, cost us heavy losses 
in killed and wounded. Among the first to fall was 
the heroic Colonel Chiassi, at the head of hia regiment. 
Among the wounded were the gallant Majors Pesaina, 
Tanara, Martinelli; Captains Bezzi, Paatore, vVntongina; 
and many more of our best officers, The enemy, too, 
sustained sueh loss&s that from that day forward they 
gave up all idea of defending the Italian Tyrol, and 
made arrangements for retiring to tlie German territory. 

On the 22nd, I drove as far as Pieve di Ledro, 
where I found Colonel Spinazzi with part of lus regi- 
ment, the second. It must be remembered that Tieve is 
only a rifle-shot distant from Bezzecca. I a.sked the 
colonel how long he had been in that position, and he 
replied, three days. I was perfectly tliunderstruck, 
and asked him why he had not taken part in the fight 
nil tlie preceding day. He told me it was for want of 
ammunition. I left him, and ordered General Haug to 
arrest him, so soon aa he shouht have assembled his 


regiment. It seems tliat Spinazzi's behaviour showed 
symptoms of insanity. His preceding conduct, so far as 
I knew, had not been that of a cowiird ; and besides, 
however cowardly a man may be, it would be impossible 
for him, accompanied as he waa by part of a regiment 
which ha«l been fighting valiantly, to remain neittral 
within a kilometre of Bezzecca, when the battle lasted 
from daybreak till two in the afternoon, the cannon 
thundering away for nine houra on end, and some 12,000 
men fighting furiously on Ixith aidea. 

At his trial, however, it came out that he was not at 
Pieve di Ledro at all on the Slst, but on Monte Nota, 
which overlooks that village on the south — a circum- 
stance which confuTOS ray opinion of the unfortunate 
officer's madness — and that, on Monte Nota, he held a 
council of his officers, who resolved to march towards 
the battle-field, where, not making sufficient haste, they 
at last arrived too late. If the second regiment had had 
an active leader, it might have played a glorious part 
that day. It waa just in the enemy's rear when the 
latter occupied Bezzecca, and, by seizing the heights 
east of that village, could have completed a triumph 
which might have cost the Austrians their artillery and 
a great number of prisoners (as any one may see who 
cares to examine the locality) ; whereas that iine regi- 
ment, for whose sal'ety so much blood was being shed at 
Bezzecca, remained inactive, and waa not the slightest 
use to IIS. 

Let this incident strve as a warning to all young 
officers. When you lienr firing, and it is known that 



your comrades are engaged vrith the enemy, uothmg 
excuses you from niiii-ching to join tlieni. If you are 
in want of ammunition, the dead and wounded will be 
able to supply you. I repeat you ought to march to 
the scene of action, unless you are sent elsewliere, or 
Iiave express orders to the contrary. 

I will not describe tlie pai-tial skirmishing canied on 
in the mountains ; there were some ^'ery creilitable 
actions, besides those in which I took part in person, I 
will only say that on the 2l9t, the enemy, to mask their 
serious movements on Bezzecea, had made a feint, with 
u I'espectiible force, on Condino, where the brave General 
Fabrizi, chief of staff, repulsed them with Nicotera's 
iind Carte's brigades, and a few guns. 

At Molina, to<i, in the direction of the Lake of Oarda, 
two engagements of doubtful result took place, in which 
some companies of the second made a gallant fight. After 
the 21st the enemy did not again appear; and hai-ing 
sent Colonel Missori, with his guides, to reconnoitre 
l>eyond Condino. 1 heanl that they had evacuated the 
whole valley as far as the forts of Lardaro. 

The object of the operations on our left through the 
Gindicaria valley was to effect a junction with Cadohni'a 
column, which, leaving Valcamonica, was marching 
towards us through the \'alleys of Fumo and Daone. 

At the same time witli tlie fights at Bezzecea and 
Condino, another took place in the mountains on our 
left, where Major Erba — I tlunk with some detachments 
of the first regiment — held his ground against a superior 
force of the enemy, which shows how numerous the 


Aiiatrians ■were on our front. The Uiudicaria valley 
being clear of the enemy, tlie junction witli Cadolini 
was easy ; antl, having reconnoitred the forts of lardaro, 
I resolved on a movement of oiir right towards Riva and 
Arco. We were ab-eady making an'angements to 
reinforce Hang when the order of August 25 for the 
suspension of hostilities took us by surprise. The cam- 
paign of 1866 is markeil all through by unfortunate 
events, which I know not whether to attriliute to fatality 
or to tfie malevolence of those at the head of affairs. 
Tho fact is that, after ha\*ing laboured so hard, and shed 
so much precious blood in order to command the valleys 
of tho Tyrol, we were arrested in our victorious course 
just when about to reap tho fruit of om- efforts. This 
assertion will not be thought exaggerated when it is 
known that on August 25, the day on which we were 
ordered to cease hostilitie.^, tliere were no Austrians 
left on this side of Trento ; tlint Kiva was abandoned 
and the cannon thrown into the lake ; that for two days 
the Austrian general, to whom we had to communicate 
the suspension of hostibties, was not to be foimd; that 
our ninth regiment was already descending tlie moun- 
tains in the rear of tlie fort of Jjirdaro without opposi- 
tion, the whole garrison of these forts consisting of less 
than one company; and, lastly, that General Kubn, 
commantler-in-cliief of the Austriau forces in the Tyrol, 
announced in one of his orders for the day, that, being 
unable to defend the Itaban Tyrol, be was going to 
fall back on the German TjTol. 

On the same day. General Metlici, after his brilliant 


achievements in Val Sugana, hail arrivetl witliin a few 
kilometres of Trento. Cleaeral Cosenz was following 
with Ma division, and in two days, at the outside, wb 
should have effected our junction at the Tyrolese capital, 
with 50,000 men. Encouraged by our aiU'antages, and 
reinforced by the numerous bands being mustered at 
Cadore, Friuli, and other places, what might wo not 
have attempted? Instead of tltis, here I am, soiling 
paper, in order that those to come may hear what we 
went through. An order from the chief command of 
the army intimated to me that I was to retreat and 
evacuate the Tyrol ; my reply was, " I obey " — a word 
which afterwards gave rise to the same cavillings and 
complaints as ever on the part of the Mazzinians, who, 
as usual, wanted me to proclaim the republic, and match 
either on Vieima or Floi-ence. 

Tlu'oughout the campaign of 18C6 I was greatly 
assisted by my superior officers, being forced to travel 
in a carriage, and therefore imable to superintend all 
movements and strategic operations as it was my habit 
to do. Chiassi, Lombard!, Castellini, and the many 
other brave men who fell in this campaign, have 
ransomed with their noble blooil our enslaved brethren, 
whom Italy will surely not again abandon to the 
foreigner — no, not though he were the devil himself! 

This time, too, some good firearms reached us after 
the war was ended : I say no more. 

From the Tynil we retired on Brescia, where the 
volimteers were disbanded, aud whence 1 again retired 
to Caprera, 


I must take tliis opportunity of recalling to the 
grateful memory of my countrymen the devoted services 
rendered by Jessie White Mario, who was always, but 
especially in the French campaign, a true providence to 
our wounded. 

( 283 ) 



The short expeditioa of 18(i7 into the Boman territory 
was prepared for, on iny jsirt, by a trip to the Italian 
mainland and Switzerland, where I was present at a 
congress of the League of Peace and Liberty. I must 
therefore assume the greater purt of the responsibility'. 
A general of the Komau liepublic, and invested by that 
[Jovemineiit (the most legitimate that ever existed in 
Italy) with extmonlinory powers, living in an idle- 
ness which I have ever believed to be culpable so long 
as an^'thing remains to be done for our country, I had 
good grounds for imagining that the time had come to 
give the final push to the tottering shanty of the Papacy, 
and win for Italy lier own illustrious capital, 

Tu wait till the initiative was taken by those wliom 
it concerned was to indulge in a tiope akin to that 
inscrilieil on the gates of the Inferno. The French 
imiperor's troops were no longer at liome ; were a few 
thousand mercenaries, the offscourings of Kurope, to 
keep a great nation at bay an<I prevent it fixim exercising 
its most sacred rights ? 


1 prepared for the cnisade, first at Veoice, and after- 
wards in our other provinces nearer to Home. The 
governments of Paris and Florence, ^vitli their agents, 
were watching me, as was only to be expected; and though 
T had the support of many honest men in the enterprise, 
there were others who spared no pains to thwart me, 
especially the Mazzinians, who protdaim themselves, 
without the shadow of a i-eason, the party of action, and 
will allow no one else to take the initiative, if they can 
help it. 

At last, ha\'ing ti-avelled liither and thither all over 
Italy, I thought, after my return fram Switzerland, that 
it was unadvisable to delay any loiter. I resolved on 
immediate action towards the month of September. 

At the same time that we ^vere preparing for a 
movement in the north, we asked the hdp of oiir ; 
friends in Southern Italy for a concentrated operation 
on Home. I had, however, reckoned without my host ; 
and one fine night, having arrival at Sinalunga, where 
I was kindly received and entertained, I was arrested 
by order of the Italian Go^■ernment, and taken to the 
fortress of Alessandria. 

From Alessandria, where they detained me some days, I 
1 was? conducted to Genoa, and thence to Caprera, the * 
island being then surrounded by men-of-war. I was | 
thus a prisoner in my own dwelling, visibly, and \ 
indeed very closely, guai-ded by ironclads, with smaller | 
steamers and some merchant vessels, wliich IIil' Govern- 
ment had chartered for the pui-pose. 

The impulse thus given to the continental movement, i 



tlioiigb, for obvious reftsons, I was tumble to superintend 
it, stuniilatfiil tbe action of our friends, who did not 
allow themselvea to be discouraged by my detention. 

General Fabrizi, my chief of staff, with other entbii- 
siastic workers, fonned a committee of supply at 
Florence. (JSeneral Acerbi entered the ^'ite^bo territory 
with a volunteer column ; while Menotti, with another, 
penetrated into tlie Papal States by way of Coi-ese ; and 
the heroic Enrico CairoU, witli liia bi-other (Jiovanni 
and about seventy brave fellows, carried arms to the 
Itomans, who stood in great need of them, by boat along 
the Tiber. 

Inside Knme, again, the brave Major Cueclii, with a 
handful of men who had entered at the risk of their 
lives, was oi-ganizing an inttimal revolution, wliich, in 
conjunction witli the revolution from without, was to 
work the final ovei-throw of that monstrous power of 
the Papacy, so long fixed liki; a cancer in tlie heart of 
our unhappy land. I could not, in my prison at 
Caprern, gain exact information of all that was going 
on, but couhl guess the development of nffaii's from the 
state in which I had left them; besides wluch, I gathered 
something from the newspapers and from rumour, 
so that I knew for certain that my sons and friends 
were on Horn an soil, engaged in conflict with the 
mercenarifs of the Church. 

1 leave it to be imagined whether 1 could remain 
idle while those dear ones, at my own instigation, were 
fighting for the liberation of Home, my whole life's 
ideal. Tbe vigilance of those commissioned to guard 


me was great, and the ships and other resources at their 
disposal many ; but greater still was my lissire to fulfil 
my duty, by joining those brave hearts who were figlit- 
ing for Italian freedom. 

At G p.m. on October 14, 18G7. I left my house, 
directing my stei)s towaRls the iiortli shore of the 
island. On the beach I found the BeccaeciM), a small 
dingey purchased on the Anio, and capable of liolding 
two persons only. 

The Seccnceino happened to be a few yards from the 
water's edge, to the eastward of a small boat-house 
which stood there. In the same place was a lentisk 
tree, which concealed the tiny akitl' almost entirely 
from view, so tliat my royal guardians had not dis- 
covered it. 

Giovanni, a young Sardinian, whose business it was to 
look after the schooner (the gift of my generous English 
friends), which was anchored in the port of Stagnatello, 
was waiting for me on the beach, and helped me to 
launch tlie Bceracdiw and get on board her. He theai 
rowed away in the schooner's boat, singing; while I 
turned to the left and followed the shore of Caprera, 
making less noise than a duck, and getting out into the 
open sea round the point of Arcaccio, where Froscianti, 
another faithfiJ friend, and Barberini, n Caprera 
enguieer, had explored the ground for fear of somu 

My guardians were many. They occupied the 
islands iu the harbour of StagnateUo, where they 
a gunboat and some smaller vessels cruising all 

small ^M 

f had ^M 



long, in every direction but the one I had chosen to 
escape their clutches. 

The moon was full — a circumstance which renileted 
my undertaking much more difficult — and, according 
to my calculations, would rise above the Teggiolone 
mountain (the highest peak in Caprera) about au 
hour after sunset. I had, therefore, to take advan- 
tage of this hour in order lo cross to Mnddalena ; 
it would be useless to attempt it either sooner or 
later, as in the fii-st case tlie sun would have be- 
trayed me ; iu the second, the moon. An unexpected 
circumstance, which greatly favoured ine, was the 
following, Maurizio, ray orderly, had gone to Madda- 
lena the same day, and was returning to Cui>rera about 
the time of my departure. Being perhaps slightly 
excited, he did not attend to the challenge of the 
giuiboats cruising in the channel of Monetu, wliicli 
separates Maddalena from Caprera, and was accordingly 
fired at several times, but fortunately without being 
lut. By a. curious coincidence, this hajtpened just while 
I was crossing.. I was, moreover, favouretl by the 
south wind, the small waves raised by which completely 
hid the Bcccaccino, whose sides scarcely rose more than 
a few inches above the surface of the water. Sly 
experience acquired in the American rivers with Indian 
canoes managed only with a paddle, here stooii me in 
good stead. I hatl an oar or [taddle about a metre in 
length, with which I was able to propel myself along 
as noiselessly as do water-birds. 

\\'liile, therefore, the majoritj' of my guaiils were 


"iTishing on Maurizio, I was quiutly crosBuig the channel 
of La Moneta, and landing on that small island separated 
from Maddaleua only hy a foi-dable channel. 

Keacliing the north-east side of the islet, I landed | 
among the numerous reefs which surround it just an 
tlie edge of the moon's disc appeared above Teggioloiie. I 
I haiiled the Beecatxino ashore and hid her in the bushes, 
and then turned southward, in oi-der to ford the channel ; 
and make for Mrs. Collius's house. 

Major Basso and ray friend Captain Cuneo, who had I 
expected me to pass by this channel, had been waiting ] 
for me at the ford; but Maurizio's mishap, and the 
number of shots (which they thought had beiin fired at 
me), convinced them that the affau- was over, and that 
I had been killed or at least made prisoner. They i 
therefore decided on retiring to the Maddalena. 

Weakened as 1 was by age and infinnities, I was not 
very active among the boulders and bushes of the ' 
island of Maddalena, Fortunately, I had the moon to 
light my way, and, much as I had feared her on the sea, 
1 was very thankful for her light on that rough gi-ound, 
which was all the more difficult because, having kept 
my boots on to cross the channel, which was full of ' 
sharp-pointed granite rocks, I had them fuU of water. 
and this made walking very difficult. In this state 1 
arrived, after taking all possible precautions, at the 
house of Mrs. Collins, who received me most cordially. 

( 289 ) 



I REiiAisED at tlie house of Mrs. Collins, wliere I 
received the kindest and most cordial hospitality, till 
7 p.m. on Octolier 15, 1867, when my fiiend Pietro 
Suziui arrived there with his horse. I mounted, and, 
under Iiia experienced guidance, crossed the island to 
Calla Frarcese, on the western side, where Basso and 
Captain Cuneo were awaiting me with a skiff and a 

1 embarked, and then the six of us crossed the strait 
between Maddalena and Sardinia. Sending back the 
boat, wc passed the rest of the night in a cave " near 

the glazzo (grazing-farm) of Domenico N . About 

G p.m., on the 16tb,: having procured three horses, we 
set out — half of us at first on foot, afterwaitls all ou 
horseback — crossed the liills of Gallura, passing the 
gulf and village of Terranova, and at dawn ou the 
17th found ourselves on the heights above the port of 
San Paolo. 

Not finding the vessel which Canzio and N'igiaiii 

* The Sardinians rreqiicnlly pam the ni^ht in llicne ta\'es in thu 
gmnite rocka (locally coiled eanca), wliicli often aiford slielter to 


were to have had i-eady at that port, we passed the 
morning at the farm of a certain Nicola, wliile Captain 
Cuneo, tii'ed as he was after fifteen hours on horseback, 
pushed on southward to I'orto I'randinga, where our 
friend!) were awaiting ns, Iiaving arrived in safety after 
many adventures with the fisliiug-vessel San Francesco. 
Before cjuitting the subject of Sardinia, I owe a word 
of grateful acknowledgment to the kindness of the 
friends wlio facilitated my escape- 
Giuseppe Cuneo and Pieti'o Suzini set to work to 
help me in a most devoted way. With the greatest 
kindness, skill, and courage, they served us with 
guidance and advice, faced hardships, fatigue, and 
danger in our company, and refused to leave us till tliey 
had seen us on board the San Francesco. 

Domenico N , at the first farm we came to, took 

the only mattress he possessed from the bed where his 
sick wife was lying, and earned it to the cave, to make 
my sleeping-quarters a little more comfortable — such is 
Sardinian hospitality. He also took a great deal of ' 
trouble in procuring us all the necessary horses, without ■ 
which it would liave been almost impossible for ua to 
cross the mountains of Gallura. Nicola, of the farm at 
Porto San Paolo, as soon as lie had recognized me — ia 
spite of my disguise, and my dyed hair and beard — 
welcomed me with that frank goodwill which cha- 
[■acterizes the rough but high-spirited and generous 
Sardinian shepherd. I am a great admirer of the j 
Sardinian people in general, in spite of the faults I 
attributed to tliem, and am certain that, under a good i 


f,'Overmnent, willing to occupy itself iu earnest with the 
proBperity and progress of that tine but miserably poor 
population, the latter might, brave and intelligent as 
they are, become one of the first iu the world. 

An extensive and fertile country, Sardinia miglit be 
made into a perfect Men ; wliereas at present it is a 
desert where want, squalor, and malaria are legibly 
written on the characteristic features of the inhabitants. 
The (lovemment which, unfortunately for every one, 
rules the Peninsula, scarcely knows whether the island 
of Sardinia is in existence, so occupied is it in preparing 
a nauseous reaction, and s^jending the riches of Italy in 
hiring spies, ])oIice agents, priests, and similar rabble, 
demoralizuig and ruining the array, in order to work 
the wicked will of Bonaparte. In fact, it is at this date 
(1867) only a miserable prS/cdure of tlie French 

On October 17, 1867, I embraced f'anzio and Vigiani 
on boaril the 8nn Franfcsco. They had performed a 
most difficult task, and faced many risks and Iiardahips 
in order to liberate me. 

At 3 p.m. on the same ilay we weigheil anchor, with 
a light southerly breeze, and, after tacking a little, the 
vessel sailed out of Tavolara, with her head north by 
caat. On the ISth, alwnt noon, we sighted Monte 
Oriato, and on the same night entered the strait of 
Piombino. The lUth broke threateningly enough, witli 
heavy rain, and gales from the south and south-west. 
These circumstances favoured our toucliing at Vada. 
between the channel of riombino and Livorno. The 

rest of the 19th was pnased near Vada, waitiDg for the 
night to enable us to land. About 7 p.m. we landed on 
the weed-covered beach south of Vada, five of us — 
Canzio, VigianJ, Basso, Maurwio, and I. We had to 
wander about for some time before finding the road. 
the shore being very marshy ; but, helped in the luoro 
difficult places by my corapiuiions, 1 was able to keep 
up with them, and reach the village of Vada, where, 
Canzio and Vigiani fortunately finding two light carts, 
we started at ouce for Livomo. Arrived there, we went 
to Sgaralliuo'a house, and found at home only the 
women-folk, who received us with great kindness. To 
tliia house came Lemmi, who had been expecting us 
for several days, with a carriage to take us to llorence. 
We started, and reached the capital towards mornin-^, 
being received with the kindest hospitality by Lemmi's 

At Florence, on the 20th, I was welcomed bj' my I 
friends, and the population — fitmi whom my arri\-sl j 
could not be kept secret — with demonstrations of joy, 
though the business in hand was to make Home tlie I 
capital of Italy, and take away that position from 
lovely Florence. This was a real and striking mani- 
festation of patriotic feeling on the part of the uoble I 
Florentine people, of ^^hich Italy, aa when Turin ' 
iictod in like manner, ought to take account. 

My greatest desire was to rejoin my brothers-in-atms. 
and my sons, who were already in the field and in 
presence of the enemy. My stay in the capital wa.s 
therefore short. I spent the rest of the 20th and the 


whole of the 21st at ilorence. On the 22nd. I started 
for the Roman frontier, travelling by special train as 
far as Teriii, and thence in a carriage to Menotti's camp, 
coming up mth liim on tlie 23rd at the I'ass of Gorese. 

The position of Corese being scarcely suited for 
defence by troops in the worst of condition — as our 
poor volunteers tlieu were — we marched on Monte 
Maggiore, and from this position, during the night of 
tlie 23i-d, threw ourselves in several columns on Monte- 
rotondo, where there were known to Ire about 400 of 
tlie enemy with two guns. The column commanded by 
^Majors (.'aldesi and Valsania was to begin its movement 
lit 8 p,m. on the 23rd, teach Monterotondo al)Out mid- 
night, and attempt to penetrate into the town by means 
of an attack on tlie western side, which was believed to 
be, and in fact was, the weakest jMirt, the mined walls 
liaving liad their place supplied by houses, with outer 
doors to tliem, and therefore not dithcult of access. The 
right-hand column, coniposetl for the most part of 
courageous Konn^noles, owing to the deficiencies in- 
evitable witli a badly organized and ill-supplied corps, 
tired out, and possessing no guides acquainted with the 
country, reached Monterotondo by day ; hence the 
night-attack became impossible. 

The state of craven fear and imliecUity to which the 
clergy have reduced those descendants of tlie ancient 
legions of Marins and Scipio is perfectly incredible. I 
had already experienced it during my retreat from Rome 
in 1849, when it was impossible to get a guide for love 
or money ; and the same thing happened in 1867. 


To tliiuk that in an Italian town like Monte- 
rotondo, witli hoiise-doors on the western side outside 
the walls, it was not possible to find a single individual 
iible or willing to give as any information as to what 
there was within ! — when we ourselves — by Heaven I — 
were Italians, fighting for the freedom of our countiy, 
while within the walls was the vilest crew of foreigti 
mercenaries in the ser\-ice of imjiosture ! ..." A free 
Church in a free State," was the saying of a great but 
crafty statesman. Yes, leave them free, this plague 
of nations, and you will have the same results as may 
be seen in France and Spain, fallen this day, tlm)ugh 
the agency of the priests, to the lowest place in the 
civilized world. 

The left-hand column, commanded by Fvigezy, arrived 
under Monterotondo on the east, occupied the Ca- 
puchin convent, with its adjacent positions, about 
10 a.m., and thi'ew out some companies on its left, to 
support our corps on tlie right, which was impossible 
all through the J4th, on accotmt of the tremendous 6re 
kept up by the enemy in that direction. The central 
column, under Menotti. with whieli I was for the 
moment, having marched from Monte Maggiore directly 
on the objective point, was stopped on the way by the 
difficult parts of the Noletta road ; but, nevertheless, at 
dawn it was t!ie first to reach the foot of the heights 
surrounding Monterotonilo on the north, 

I ordered this column (commanded hy Menotti, and 
composed for the most part of Mosto's and Burlaudo's 
gallant Genoese hcrsaglieri) to occupy the strong 

uorthem positions already alluded to, but not to 
attack, thinking that I could arrange the attack in 
conjunction with the other columns, about to arrive. 
But the impetuosity of the vohinteers could not be 
controlled, and instead of limiting themselves to the 
occupation of the aforesaid positions, they rushed to 
the attack of Porta San Rocco, meeting a murderous 
fire poured on them from all the windows on that side 
of the town. 

Having gone away from the central column to a 
little distance on the left, in order to try and di-scover 
Frigezy'a, whidi was to arrive in that direction. I saw 
with pain and astonishment the difficulty into wliich 
the Genoese rifieiiien had ventured through excess of 
courage, This jiremature attack cost us a number of 
dead and wounded. It succeeded, however, in establish- 
ing in the liouses adjacent to Porta San Kocco, a few 
hundred volunteers, who later on, with the co-operatioa 
of freah companies from other corps, were able to set 
the gate on fire, and secured us the entrance into the 
town. The whole of October 24, therefore, was spent 
in surrounding Monterotondo with our forces ; while 
the garrison — consisting of Papal Zouaves, armed 
for the most part with excellent carbines, and 
possessing two cannon — blazed away at us with a 
very inadequate reply on our part, our musketa Iming 
of till! usual stamp, and the enemy so well sheltered 
tliat we could not discover a single one to take nim at. 

On the crest of Monterotondo Is the palace of the 
princes of Pioml)ino, and a young man of this family 



wiia fighting in our rftuks. Thia palace, or rather castle, 
is very extensive, and strongly fortified. The enemy 
had turned it into a fortress, with loopholes all round, 
and a parapet on the eastern platform, where they had 
mounted two guns, one nine and one twelve- pounder. 
Among our losses in the attack on Porta San Bocco 
were the gallant Major Mosto, severely, and Captain 
Uziel mortally wounded ; wtiile my dear, good 
Vigiani — to whom I owed, In great part, my escape 
from Caprera, not to s]>eak of other kindnesses — was 
killed, and many other brave men with him. 

I will try and record tlie names of those who fell, 
bravely fighting for the liberation of Rome in 1867 ; 
but, as I cannot remember them all for certain, I leave 
it to my staff to complete this sacred duty. 

Dead. — Majors Achille Cantoni, Vico Pellizxari, 
Martino Franchi, Martinelli, Luigi Testori, Defranchis, 
De Benedetti ; Captain Uziel ; First Lieutenant Antonio 
Vigiani ; Gironimo Bortolucci, Sante Lenari, Ettore 
Giordano, John Scoley of London (fonud wounded at 
the station of Monterotondo, and massacred by the 
Papal Zouaves) ; Ercole Latini ; Achille Eoi-ghi ; Antonio 
Aniiighini ; Pio Lombardi ; Giuseppe Fermi ; Count 
Bolis di Lugo ; Lieutenant Silvio Andreuzzi ; Ettore 
Mnrasini ; Bovi, son of the major of the same name. 

Wotuidrd. — Majors Egisto Bezzi, Antonio Mob to, 
Luigi Stallo ; Vincenzo Gavitani; Giacomo Galliani; 
Domenico Manara ; Antonio Sgarbi ; Mayer, of 
Livomoj Pasqiiale Sgarallino ; Paolo CapuanL 

( 297 



This attack ia a sufficient proof that the morale of the 
men under my command was quite above the influence 
of the Ma/itiniaii propaganda, wliich called upon the 
volunteers to return home in order to proclaim the 

We spent Dctober 24, as I have said, in surround- 
ing Monterotonilo, preparing fascines and brimstone 
for burning the gate of San Roccn, and making all 
possible arrnngementa for an attack. 

The three columns commanded by Saloraone, Caldeai, 
and Valsania, with Menotti, were maased (with the ex- 
ception of some acouting-parties sent out towards the 
Roman road, by wliich reinforcements might reach the 
«aemy) fur the decisive attack on Porta San Rocco. 
Frigezy was to attack tlie town simultaneously on the 
eastern side, and, if possible, also to set the gate of the 
castle on tire. 

The attack was fixed for 4 a.m, on the 25th. Our 
jiimr volunteers, starving, half-naked, and with their 
few clothes wet through, had stretched themselves out 
jit the edge of the road, which the heavy rains uf tUe 
]ireceding days had turned into all but impassable 


sloughs of mud. I confess that I almost despaired of I 
being able to get the poor fellows up again at the hour [ 
for the attack, and, seated among them, shared their j 
miserable situation till about 3 a.m. At that hour the i 
friends who were about me begged me to enter the J 
convent of Santa Maria, a short distance off — at least ' 
for a little ^Yhile, so as to get some shelter from the | 
wet. They took me to tlie only seat that was to be 
found, a confessional, where I remained a few minutes. 
I had scarcely sat down and leaned my shoulders, J 
aching with long standing, against the wall, when s 
noise like that of an approaching storm, an awful cry 
from a band of our men rushing towards the burning | 
gate, made me start up and run as fast as I could 
towards the scene of iiction, shouting «itli the rest ' 
" Forward ! " 

Tlie whole of the gate, having been set on fire, and | 
battered in with two little cannon of ours, which I 
seemed scarcely bigger than telescopes, was now only a I 
heap of burning min,s. "Wliile we were waiting for tho J 
fire to go out, the enemy tried to barricade the gateway ] 
afresh, and began to bring carts, planks, and other J 
things for the purpose. Tlii.'jdid not precisely meet the I 
views of our men, who Iiad spent so much time anil I 
labour in firing it. The first article pushed into th» I 
gateway by the Zouaves was a cart ; but they had no j 
time to put it iu its place An electric s^iark ofl 
heroism spread like lightning tln-ough the ranks of the J 
patrioti, who threw theraselve.« like men possessed int(^ 
the burning gateway. 


Vfeaij, exhausted, starved — what did thot matter? 
Had I not already seen those young Italians perform 
impossibilities ? It was a crime to tlistiust them — a 
thought worthy of decrepit and doting old age. 

Neither tlie cart that blocked the entrance, nor the 
burning fragments heaped on the ground, nor the hail 
of bullets poured int'j them on all sides, was able to 
8ta3' their progress. TJiey seemed to me like a toiTcnt, 
which, breaking through banks and dykes, spreads over 
tile country. 

In a few minutes our men had ovemin the town, and 
the garrison was shut up in the castle. At C p.m. the 
attack on tlie castle began. Our men, being already 
masters of the openings of all the streets leading to 
it, barricaded them, and set fite to the stables by means 
of fascines, straw, carts, and all the combustibles to be 
found on the spot. 

At 10 a.m., we repulsed with a few shots aboat 2l)0<l 
men advancing from £ome to the assistance of the 
besieged. At 11, the gsirrison, suffocated with smoke, 
and fearing that the fire would reach the powder, which 
was stored undergronnd, hoisted a white flag and 
surrendered at discretion. 

Tlie gallant Major Testori, a short time before this, 
had shown himself in the open with a white Hag. in 
order to summon them to surrender, but, in violation of 
every law of war, they fired ae\entl shots at liim, and 
left him dead. I had the greatest difficulty, after so 
many and such atrocious acts of barbarity, iu saving 
the lives of these agents of the Inquisition from tlie 


reseDtment of our men. I bad to see them out of 
Monterotondo myself, and then hnve them escorted to 
the Pass of Corese by forty meu under Major Marram. 

Tliere happened at Monterotondo what one might 
expect to bappeu in a town taken by assaiilt, which 
had deserved little sympathy on account of tlie passive 
jknd indifferent, almost hostile, attitude previously aa- 
sumed towards us, and I must confess that there was no 
lack of disorder. This disorder was also a hindrance to 
the proper organizatimi of our forces, for which reason 
little could be done in that direction during the few 
days of onr stay. 

In the hope of better organizing the men, once ontnde I 
the town and in motion, putting an end to the riotona 1 
scenes enacted there, and approaching Home, 
marched out of Monterotondo on October 28, and | 
occupied the liills of Santa Colomba. Frigezy occa- 
pied Marcigliano with the vanguai-d, and pushed his J 
outposts as far forward as C'astel Giubileo and ViUa I 

On the evening of the 29th, while I was at Castel I 
Giubileo, a messager arrived from Rome, who, having 
some of bis relatives in the column, was known to us ; 
he assured me that the Romans bad decideil on making 
an attempt at insurrection that very night. This some- 
wliat embarrassed me, the men not being all at hand ; 
yet I resolved to push forward myself at dawn on the 
30Lh, with two battalions of Genoese bersaglieri, as far J 
as the Casino dei Pazri, a short distance from Ponte J 



One of our guides and an officer, who were the first 
to arrive at the main building of the Casino, met with 
a picket of the enemy, and a few revolver-shots were 
exchunged. The guide was wounded in the cheat ; and, 
being outnumbered by the enemy, our men retreated, 
warning me, by otlier shots, of the presence of the 
Papal soldiers. All this, however, they did like 
bravo men, and with the greatest presence of mind. 
Wo fell back from that point, to meet the two hatta- 
lions on the marcli, and, as soon as they arrived, occu- 
pied the Casino dei I'azzi, the houses of La Cecehina, 
a grazing-farm, at the distance of a long carbine-shot to 
northward of the former, and the road, flanked by a 
stone wall, leading from the Casino to the farm-build- 
ings. We remaijied in that position during the whole 
of the 30tb, waiting to hear of some movement in Rome, 
or to receive some communication from oui friends 
witliin the walls, but in vain. 

About 10 a.m., two Papal columns marched out to 
reconnoitre, one from Ponte Nomentano, and the other, 
some time later, from Ponte Mammolo. The papal 
soldiers on our right, advancing m skirmishing order 
till they were within carbine-ahot, kept firing on us all 
day long; but our men, obedient 1*3 orders, made no 
reply — which would, indeed, have been useless with our 
wretched weajKius, tlie (.lenoese being unprovidetl with 
their good carbines. Only wlien the Zouaves, over-con- 
fident, or irritated by our silence, advanced still nearer, 
our nien, ambushed in the Casino dei Vain, killed four 
of tliem, and wounded several. 


Oiir position, within a short distance of Rome, where i 
the whole papal aruiy was concentrated, was a risky ( 
one — so much ao, that when I saw the two columns, , 
whose numbers it was impossible to estimate precisely, 
marcliing out, I asked Menotti, who was in the rear, 
to support us with some battalions, wliich accordingly , 
he immediately brought forward himself. 

Persuaded that nothing was doing at Home, and that j 
it was still less likely that anything would be done 
after the arrival of the French — which was already 
annoimced, and took place shortly afterwards — I pre- 
pared for a retreat on Monterotondo, leaving many fires 
burning in all positions occupied by us, in order to ' 
deceive the enemy. 

Here the Mazzinians profited by their opportunity to i 
turn sulky and scatter discontent among the \'olunteers, 
" 1 f you -are not going to Home," they said, " it is better i 
to return home." And indeed, at home, one can eat ' 
well, drink better, and sleep warmly, and feel much ' 
safer into the i)argaiii. 

The positions we had occupied, Castcl del Pazzi, 
Cecchina, Castel (liubileo, and the rest, were too near 
Home, and untenable agauist a superior force ; we there- 
fore required stronger ijositions further off. Jlontero- 
tondo fuliilled these conditions; and, moreover, the 
victualling there was easier. 


( 303 ) 



Os October 31, the whole of the voliintefir force hail 
18 -entered Monterotondo, where we remained till 
November 3. AU this time was spent in clotliing a 
few of the neediest of the soldiers, providing them with 
Khoea and weapons, and organizing them as best we 

The strong positions of Sant' Augelo, Monticelli, and 
Pulombara were occupied by three battalions under 
Colonel I'aggi, TivoU by Colonel Pianciaui with one 
battalion, Viterbo by General Acerbi with 1000 men, 
und Vclletri by (^ieneral Nicotera with another tliousand. 
Major Andrenzzi was to operate on the right bank 
of the Tiber with two hundred men. 

Before Octoljer 31, many volunteers flocked to swell 
tlii; columns under Menotti's command, so that these 
hail already reached the number of about 6000 men, 

Tlie situation of the volunteer corps, therefore, if not 
brilliant, would not have been altogether deplorable, 
had we been able, by the help of the country people, 
to supply our poor soldiers with anus, clothes, and 
other n 

304 AUTOBioajiAPnr of qiuseppe garibaldiA 

The Papal army was completely demoralized. Wefl 
liad defeated part of it at Monterotondo, and the reatfl 
had concentrated itseli' in Rome, whence it had not-l 
since ventured out, though challenged by us. Tits I 
Koman people, oppressed and, after their attempts at J 
insurrection, massacred, were crying out for vengeancetll 
and preparing, with renewed courage — under the leader-] 
ship of Cucchi and other brave men, to co-operate withl 
their deliverers outside the walls, and make an end of'l 
the away of priests and mercenaries. All, in short, 1 
promised well for the fall of the priest, the enemy of I 
the whole human race. 

But the genius of evil was still watcliing over 1 
preservation of his principal adherent — the pontiff of^ 
falsehood. IFrom the banks of the Seine — ^where, to I 
the sorrow of France and the world, ho still rules — he I 
threatened us on the Arno, accused the timid of J 
cowardice, and roused the courage of fear and treachery. I 
At the word of their master, the men who so 
wortliily govern Italy, covering their faces with the J 
usual mask of patriotism, cheated the nation, invaded I 
the Soman territorj', and said, " Here we are ! we hav« J 
kept our word! At the first shots fired in Borne, see | 
how we hasten to the help of our brothera," 

Lies ! lies 1 Ytm hastened indeed, but for tl»6 1 
destruction of your brothers, in case they had achieved I 
the final victory ; and you hastened when you were \ 
sm-e that the Itonmn [ratrioU were scattered and slain. 

Lies I lies ; You and your magnanimous ally I 
occupied the city and territory of Home, in order tlL 



set the Pope's entire host of mercenaries — completely 
recovered after its defeats — free to fall, with the full 
weight of its more numerous, well-armed, and well- 
supplied forces, on a handful of volunteers, wretchedly 
armed, and in want of the chief necessaries of life, 
with the delilwrate purpose of devoting the latter to 
destruction. And in case the Papal army should not 
suffice — as it did not — there were all Bonaparte's 
soldiers ready, and (I shudder to think of it) also 
those who are uniinppy enough to ohey i/ou. 

Were they not marching on us in 1860 with the 
intention of fighting ? (See Farini'a despatch to 
Bonaparte.) — Why should they not do the same in 
18fi7? The liills of Mentaua were covered with the 
corpses of the gallant sons of Italy, mingled with thosei 
of foreign mercenaries, as the hills of Capua hod 
been, seven years before. And the cause for which 
those men fouglit, whom I had the honour of command- 
ing in the south, was as sacred as tliat which had 
spurred us to battle under the walls of the ancient 
capital of the world. 

Here 1 must record with pain anotlier cause of the 
lUsaster at Mentaua. I have already said that the 
Mazzinians had begun their propaganda of dispersion 
with the commencement of our retreat from Casino dei 
I'azzi. and this conduct ou their part had no soii of 
justificatiou. Any man with the smallest stock of 
common sense can easily understand that our position 
under the walls of Rome must have become mitenable 
when the French arrived. We had no artillery or 


cavalry. If the Papal troops alone had made a sortie I 
in good earnest, we could not have made head t^ainst j 
them; and had they attacked us, we had not rations I 
enough to have held out for two days. Masters, on 
the other hand, of Monterotondo, which is within sight , 
of lEome, we were at the central point of our small 
resources, in a commanding position, and able to descry 
the enemy at a considerable distance, in case of attack. 

All these things, however, only served as pretexts for 
the Mazzinians to turn against us. The treacherous and 1 
obstinate opposition of the Government, the ]X)wet of tha 
priesthood, and the support given to it by Bonaparte, were f 
not enough ; they too must come, as usual, to give tha j 
ass's kick to men whose sole ambition was the ileliverance j 
of their enslaved countrymen. " We shall do better," 
the men of tliat party — who are this day partisans of 
the monarchy — said to me at Lugano, in 1848. It will ( 
be seen that the war of pin-pricks carried on against J 
me by the Mazzinians dates from a long while back, f 
" Let us go home, to proclaim the republic and build I 
barricades," they said to my soldiers in the Agro I 
Komano, in 1867. And, indeed, it was much easier for ] 
tliose poor lads wlio followed me to return home than I 
to stay with me in November, without food or necessary I 
clothes to cover them, and ivith the Italian army, as 1 
well as the Papalini and the French to fight against 

These Afazzinian intiigues resulted in the deaertiou J 
of about 3000 men during our retreat from Casino de \ 
Pazzi to Mentana ; and when, in a force of 6000, half J 
the men deliberately desert — and they made no secret ' 


of it — it may well be imagined what amount of courage 
and discipline, and confidence in the successful com- 
pletion of OUT enterprise, was to be found among the 
remaining half. 

Tliis party has, from first to last, caused me unspeak- 
aV)Ie injury, which I would willingly foi^t haJ it been 
inflicted on me personally, hut it was on the national 
cause. And how can I foi'get it ? how cau 1 refrain 
from pointing it out to those, the noblest of our young 
men, who were led astray by them ? Mazzini, indeed, 
was better tlian his followers, and, in a letter addressed 
to me, under date Febrxiary 11, 1870, with regard to 
the affair at Mentnna, he wrote, " You know that I had 
no confidence in our success, and was convinced that it 
was better to concentrate all our forces on a strong 
movement in Home itself" (a plan entirely disapproved 
of by our Itoman friendB) " than to make an attempt 
on the province; but, the undertaking once begun, I 
helped it as much as 1 could." 

I do not doubt Mazzini'a assertion, but the mischief 
was done. Hither he was not in time to advise his 
supporters, or else they persisted in their course i.if 
action in spite of him. Kicciotti could not get the 
assistance we had hoped for in England, as the catcli- 
word circulated among our friends there was this, 
" Why should we overthrow the Papacy, to piit a worse 
govenimeut in its place ? " 

In the Agro Romano, his followers, as I have already 
said, spread discontent among my soldiers, and caused 
the wholesale desertion already mentioned, which, no 


doubt, was the principal cause of tlie defeat at Meiitana- 
From the tower of the Piombino palace at Moute- I 
rotondo, wliere I passed the greater part of the day, ] 
watching Eome, the drill of our men on the level J 
ground, and every movement on the canipagna, I saw 
that procession marching towards Passo di Coreae, that 
is, going away to their own homes. To the comrades 
who called my attention to the fact, I only said, " Kon- 
aeuse ! tliose are not our men going away ; they will lie- 1 
peasants going to or coming from their work." But itk 1 
my heart I felt the bitterness of the cruel act, though I | 
tried to hide it, or at any rate make light of it to the- 1 
bystanders — one's usual resource in critical circuin- | 

Id consef[uence of this state of mind on the part or J 
my men, and as the northern frontier was hermetically J 
sealed against ns by a detachment of the Italian army^ I 
and it was therefore impossible to procure th& 1 
necessary supplies in that quarter, we liad to seek J 
anotlier scene of action and base of operations, to-l 
enable na to live, hold our ground, and await the f 
events that were to bring abotit the linal solution off 
the Boman question. For all these reasons it was ile-| 
cided to march along the river to the left, towards! 
Tivoli, in order to get the Apennines in our rear, and J 
approacli the southern provinces. 

The march was fixed for the morning of N'ovemberfl 
3, but a distribution of shoes delayed us so long tholll 
we could not be ready to start liefore noon. "We left 
Monterotondo by the Tivoli road, the onler of inarclLl 


being pretty nearly as follows t — Menotti's colunin were 
to inarcli in good onler, with a vanguai'J of beraaglieri 
at a tliatance varying from 1000 to 2000 paces in front of 
them. In advance of the vanguanl scouts on foot were 
to march, preceded by guides on horseback. On all the 
roads coming from Rome on our right, scouts on foot and 
on horseback were to be thrown out as far as possible 
towards Rome ; and on the heights which commanded a 
view of tlie country, vedettes were to be posted, to warn 
us in time of any movement on the part of the enemy. 
A real-guard was to urge on the stragglers, and leave 
none behind. The artillery was to march in the centre 
of the columns, and their respective ba^age in the rear 
of each. 

In this order, more or less, we began our march from 
Monterotondo for Tivoli. Unhappily, however, it seems 
that our mounted scouts, who were very few in number, 
fell into the hands of the enemy, so that the Papal 
troops, marching along the Via Nomentaoa, nearly 
surprised our van, which tliey engaged. 

Having passed the village of Mentana, the firing 
warned me of the presence of the enemy. A retreat 
in such a contingency, when the enemy had already 
engaged na, was the same tiling as a flight, and there 
was no other resource but to accept the combat, 
occupying the strong positions which we found at hantl. 
I therefore sent Menotti, who was marching with the 
vanguard, orders to occupy these positions an<l assume 
the defensive. I then sent forward the rest of the 
columns in succession, making them deploy right and 


left in support of the first, wliile several companies I 
remained in column as a reserve on the right. 

Tlie road from Mentana to Montcrotondo, our line of J 
operation that day, is a good one, but low, with high j 
hanks on either side. I was therefore ohliged to seek, I 
on our right, a position suited for mounting the two 
guns we had token from the enemy on Octxiber 25. 
Tliis was done with great difficulty, for want of mea J 
and trained horses, and because tlie ground, cut up 
with hedges and vineyards, was very uneven. 

Meanwhile a inurderaua conflict was raging all along 
the luie. "We occupied positions as gowl as thoae of 1 
the enemy, or better, as the latter could not show their 1 
artillery during the day; and maintained them for a J 
time, in spite of the superiority of our adversaries both ] 
in arms and numbers. 

I must acknowledge, however, that the volunteers, 
demorahzed hy the great number of desertions, did not | 
that day show themselves worthy of their reputation. 1 
Some distinguished officers, and a handful of gallant I 
fellows who followed them, shed their blood without I 
yielding a handbreadth of ground ; but the majority J 
Iiad lost their old daring and endurance. They gave up I 
splendid positions withont the resistance I mi 
reaaonably have expected. 

Tlie fight b^an about 1 p.m., and by 3 p.m. thej 
enemy had driven ua from position to position, BboutJ 
1000 metres backward, to the village of Mentana. At I 
3 p.m.,we were able to place our guns in an odvantageoiu I 
position on our right, and they opened fire with great! 
eftt'Ct on the enemy. 



A bayonet-charge executed by tbe whole line, and 
the ahort-rauge fire ol" our men posted at the windows 
of the houses in Mentana, had strewn the ground with 
I'lipalini corpses. We were victorious; the enemy were 
in retreat, the lost positions were being regained, and 
till 4 p.m. victory smiled on the champions of Italian 
liberty, and we were masters of the field. But, I repeat, 
a fatal demoralization had crept into our ranks. Our 
tiMMpa were victorious, but did not care t(j complete 
the victory by pursuing an enemy who had abandoned 
the field. Reports of French columns marching on us 
were circulated among the vohmteers, and there was no 
time to investigate their origin ; for which, of course, 
om- enemies — priests or devils — were responsible. It 
was known that tl«e Italian army was against us, 
iirreating our men at the frontier, and intercepting all 
supplies and communications intended for U3. In short, 
tlie Italian Government, the priests, and the Mazzinian 
party combined had succeeded in spreading discourage- 
ment in our ranks. And it is not every man who is of 
11 temper to resist discouragement, and maicli resolutely 
through good and ill to the fulfilment of liis duty. 

About 4 p.m,, the report, wliich after all proved to 
be false, that a eoluma of 2000 French soldiers was 
attacking us ia tlie rear, gave the last blow to the 
failing endurance of the volunteers. It was, however, 
tnie tliat tlie exj)editiouary corps of De Failly was then 
arriving on the battle-field to reinforce the Pope's 
siiatterod ranks. 

Tlie positions regained with sucli efforts were again 


yielded, and a crowd of fugitives massed together on the 
high-road. In vain did I and many of my brave ofBcers 
raise our voices to arrest their flight. I sliouted myself 
hoarse ; in vain. All of them took tlie way to Monte- 
TOtondo, leaving a gun behind, wliich diil not fall into 
the enemy's hands till tlie following day, and deserting 
a few gallant fellows, who kept up a hot fire on the 
3'apalini from the houses of Mentana. 

Any one can be bnivc with the enemy in retreat; 
and this, of course, was the case with our adversaries. 
Those of tlie I'apal troops who had escaped us, now that 
they were supported by the French columns, came on 
with the greatest confidence. They pressed closely on 
our retreating ranks, and, with their superior weapons, 
caused us many losses both iu killed and wounded. 

The French, whom at first we took for Papal troops, 
came on with their terrible chassepota, pouring on ns a 
perfect hail of projectiles, but fortunately caused more 
alarm than injury. Ah ! if our men had only listened 
to my voice, and, acting purely on the defensive, held — 
as we might have done without much danger — the re- 
conquered positions of Mentana, November 3 would 
perhaps have Iieen numbered among the glorious anni- 
versaries of the Italian democracy, in spite of our many 
wants and the great inferiority of our force. 

In many of the preceding battles, the tide of fortune 
had gone against ua till nearly the end of the day, 
when a favourable turn brought back the victoiy to our 
side. At Mentana we were masters of the held at four 
in the afternoon, and if we could have held out another 



hour, night wimld have coma on, and perhaps induced 
the enemy to retreat towards Rome, their position out- 
side the walls not being very tenable against men who 
would have left them no reel by night. 

About 5 p.m., all our column, except the few defenders 
of Ment^na posted inside tlie houses, were retreating in 
disorder on Monterotondo. We were scarcely able to 
occapy the strong position of the Capuchin convent 
with a few hundred men. We had no more ammunitiou 
fur the cannon, and very little for the muskets. It was 
the general opinion that we ought to retreat to Passo 
di L'oresa 

From tlie tower of the castle at Monterotondo I had 
convinced myself that the report of the 2000 French on 
the Koman i-oad, who were to attack us in the i-ear, 
fluring the fight (as I myself had been assured by many 
men) was quite baseless. It seems impossible that 
such things sliould happen, yet they do happen. 
Several among my own officers, of undoubted trust- 
worthiness, assured me tliat they had heard it, and it 
was certain that the nimour had been in circulation 
iimid the vicissitudes of the tight. In such a confusion 
OS that, who is to find the originator of a refiort im- 
plying the blackest ti'eason ? Yet this nmioiir, circu- 
lating among the soldiers, discouiaged them, and spread 
from one to another witli lightning speed. The depth 
of human depravity is unfathomable. Of how many 
depraved chanictors will it not be necessary to purge 
Italian Bociety, so comipted by the jiriests and their 
friends I 


A system of field polvx is indispensable in every Ijody 
of troops ; but such is the repugnance of the volunteers 
to police of any kind, that it seems ilifficnlt or impos- 
sible to institute it. 

At dusk on Kovember 3 we retreated on I'asso di 
Corese,* and passed the rest of the night on Boman 
territory, within or near the inn. Some of the officers 
informed ma that part of the soldiera were stOl willing 
to keep their arms and try their luck again, but m the 
morning I was convinced that, if such dispositions Lad 
ever existed, they existed no longer. 

On the morning of November 4 we laid down our 
weapons on the bridge, and the disarmed soldiers 
passed out of papal territorj-. 

Here I owe a word of commendation to General 
Fabrizi, my cliief of staff, whom I left in charge of all 
further arrangements for the disarming. Tliia gallant 
veteran of Italian independence behaved with his usual 
valour on the battle-field of Mentana, and, worn out 
with fatigue and years, was, after having animated our 
men by his words and presence to do their duty, carried 
into Monterotondo, accompanied by the soldiers. 

Colonel Carava, commanding an Italian regiment at 
Corese, who had been an officer under my orders in 
former campaigns, treated us on all occasions with 
praiseworthy kindness. He received me in a very i 
friendly manner, did all lie could for me and the 
volunteers, and placed a train at my disposal to take 

* The liridgo at Corcso nt that time diWded the Boman from the i 
Italian territorj*. 


me to Florence. But not such was the disposition of 
the Government The Deputy Crispi, who was in the 
train with me, vas of opinion that there was no fear 
of an arrest. I was compelled to disagree with him, 
knowing with whom I had to deal. However, as there 
was nothing else to be done, I followed my friend's 
advice, and let the train go on towards the capital. 

On the journey, the usual Government precautions — 
carbineers, bersaglieri, etc. After travelling at full 
speed, I was at last lodged in my old abode at Vari- 
gnano ; whence, after a time, I was allowed to return 
home to Caprera. 



To those wlio have the patience to read me, I shonlil 
like to point out a eircumstance which seema strau^ 
but which is perfectly true, ami on which I offer i 
comment, preferring to leave that task to the reader. 

It was 'luite natural that I should not have gained 
the favour of tlie Savoyard monarchy, on my arrival 
from America in 1848. That I should have excited 
universal antipathy among its servants, from the prime 
minister to tlie geneiiils of the arm}', and from these to 
the ushers of the court, whose existence was bound u)> 
with that of the royal (.loverument, follows quite logi- 
cally from the nature of the men and things in question. ■ 
Wliat I cannot so clearly understand, is the unfavour- 
able reception I met with from those men who may justly 
be called the luminaries of the modern period of national 
resurrection, aud who deserved so nobly of that caose 
— ^azzini, Manin, Guerrazzi, and some of tlieir friends. 

I met the same fate in France in 1870 and 1871, 
Yet in France, as in Italy, I luive found among the 


common people an enthusiastic ayinpatliy certainly far 
above my deserts. 

The Government of National Defence, consisting of 
three honeat men fully deserving of public confidence, 
received me, because forced to do so by the course of 
events, but coldly enough, and witli the manifest 
intention (as had sometimes been the case in Italy) 
making use of my poor name, but nothing more ; in 
short, depriving me of the means which were absolutely 
necessary, if my co-operation was to be of any use. 

(Jambetta, Cr^raieux, C<lais-Bizoin, were each person- 
ally kind to me, but — especially the first, from whom I 
liad expected, if not personal sympathy, at least active 
and energetic co-operation — left me to myself- duriug 
a time which might have been most valnabU-. 

In the first Jays of September, 1870, the Provisional 
Government was proclaimed in France, and on the 6tli 
of that month I offered my services to that Government, 
which was always ashamed of calling itself republican. 
The French Goiernment waited n month before reply- 
ing — a priceless interval in which much could liave 
Iwen done, but whicii was almost entirely wasted. 

Here I tlunk it well to repeat that it is a great mis- 
take for those nations which remain their own masters 
(as happened, within a short space of time, to lx)th 
France and Spain) not to decide on the government of 
a single honest man ; under the name of dictator or any 
other, but one only. It is no use to have recourse to 
complex governments, generally composed of theorists, 
who pasa the greater part of their time in delihemtiug 


instead of acting promptly, as required by pressing; 

In France tliey did still worse — instead of o>if 
government, they bad two ; and every one knows the 
result of this defective system. If they had, on the 
other hand, elected one man, he would probably 
have identified the seat of government with his head- 
quarters, which was virtually the case with the 
Prussians, and was what gave them such an immense 
advantage over their opponents. Instead of a Babel, 
France would have had a strong government. 

It was only at the beginning of October that I 
knew I should be received in France, and General 
Bordone, to whom aloue I owe the acceptance of my 
offer, came to fetch me at Caprera with the Bteamer 
VUle da Paris (Captain Condray), which conveyed uie 
to Marseilles on October 7, 1870. 

EscLuir&t, prffet of that illustrious city, and the 
people, welcomed me with great enthusiasm; and u 
telegram from the fiovernor of Tours immediately 
summoned me to come to him. 

When I reached Tours, I found Cremieux and Glas- 
Bizoin there, botli sympathetic and, I think, thoroughly 
honest men, but not eq^ual to the task of raising France 
out of the terrible catastrophe into which Bonapart*i 
had hurrieii her, Besides, they belonged to a vicious 
system of government, in which, even with a capacity 
for understanding what was right, they could not do it 

Gambetta, arriving the day after in a balloon, gave 
some sort of impulse to the inert machine of government 



— he galTanized it, improvised eaormona resources; but 
for liiui likewise circiimataiicea were too strong, 
wlietlier because the system of government was a 
wrong one, through the mistaken arrangement of 
entrusting what remained of the army to the same 
men of the empire who had lost the first part, or for 
want of the experience necessary in so terrible a crisis. 

At Tours I lost several days through the indecision 
of the tlovernment, ami found myself on the point of 
returning home, having understood, as I said before, 
thiit they wished to make use of my poor name — 
notliing else. 

The task they wished to entrust to me was that of 
organizing a few hundred Italian volunteers, then at 
Chambery and Marseilles. After several discussions 
with these gentlemen, I at last repaired to Dole, in order 
to collect those elements of every nationality wliich were 
to serve as a nucleus to the future army of the Vosges. 

The I'russians, maichiug on Paris after Sedan, were, 
of course, obliged to keep scouts on their left flank, 
where the new recruits of France were being massed. 
These same scouts several times appeared in the 
neighbourhood of Dole, where the few men I had been 
able to collect were beiug organized, badly provided 
and aiTued aa they were for a long time. 

Our attitude, however, was energetic enough, aa we 
took up our position, first at Mont liolland, and after- 
wards in the Foret de la Serre, so that Dole remained 
untouched by the enemy during the wliole time we 
remained there 


As the hostile army was marching on Paris, it woaI 
naturally necessary for us at least to threaten thcirfl 
line of operation from the Ehiiie to Uie capital. This ' 
necessity was fully felt by the Government of Defence, 
who sent into the Voages the greater number of the 
franc-tircur corps, and General Cambriels with 30,000 , 
men of the new levy of Gardes Mobiles, some battalions J 
of the old army, and a few cannon. 

All these forces were driven back from the Vo 
on Besaufon by tlie superior weight of the enemy, 
wbUe we were still at Dole ; and M. Ordinaire, prefect 
of Besaufon, t\nce telegraphed to me to come to him, 
in order to dense means for preventing the disbaudinir 
of the troops above mentioned. 

M. Ordiuaii-e had had the idea of collecting together 
and placing imder my command the fractional corps 
scattered throughout the department, and I had been 
welcomed by all these troops, and by the population > 
of Besanpon, with the same enthusiasm as if I had ^ 
been in Italy. But M. CJambetta. who arriiod soon ] 
after, thought best to smooth over matters, and replooG I 
all the united forces of the east under the onlera of J 
fleneral Camlfriels, It should be remembered that I 
General Cambriels himself asseited that he needed rest, 1 
in order to recover from a wound in the head, whick | 
greatly inconvenienced him. 

In November, I had orders to march with my meo I 
from Dole to Morvan, which, with the importuit | 
foundry of Creuzot, was tlireatened by the enemy. 
I chose Autim for my head-(i«arters. Here we foant^ 




ihe population somewhat alarmed at the approach 

i)f the Pruasiana — so much so that they had thrown 
into tlie little river Arroux the only two small guns 
they had. 

The arrival of Tanara's and Ravelli's Italians, a 
lew Spaniards, Greeks, and Poles, and a few battalions 
of the Garde Mobile, began to raise the efScienoy 
of our nucleus of aii army. We even began to form' 
an artillery corps with a few mountain-giuis, followed 
by two field-batteriea of four rifled cannon apiece ; 
find also had a certain number of guides on horseback, 
for the moat part Italians, who became two complete 
squadrons towards tlie end of the campaign. 

The same tiling took place with tlie French line 
cavalry, which, beginning with a detachment of thirty 
mounted chasseurs, had, by tha end of the war, 
increused to a complete regim£nt, 

Three brigades were organized, the first commanded 
by General Bossack, the second by Colonel Belpeck 
(it was afterwards under the orders of Colonel Lobbia), 
and the third by Meuotti. 

Several companies of franca-tireurs, one of wliich 
was commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Odoline, a second 
by Lieut,-Colonel Braun, a third by Lieut.-ColonQL 
Grouchy, a fourth by Lieut. -Colonel Lliost, a fifth 
by Major Ordinaire, were all, except Braun's, acting 
under MenotU's orders, and formed part of his third 
brigade. All these companies, while being organized, 
carried on Bkirmishing operations between the enemy's 
columns, and caused the latter great annoyance. 


The fourth brigade, under Eicciotti, was, at the I 
beginuing, composed of franc-tireur companies only.l 
acting, like the others, in flying columns ; but towards 1 
the end of the campaign, some battalions of mobilized [ 
Gardes Natiouales wore added to it. 

The chief of staff of the army was General Bordone, J 
This man — who, more than any one else, was the cause of i 
my going to France, and who met with so much oppo- 
sition — I am very far from considering perfect ; and, I 
indeed, I know little of bis antecedents, except that he I 
came to the aonth of Italy with the brave Dellotte, and I 
served with great credit in the campaign of 1860. But 
in any case, for truth's sake, I must confess that he was ] 
of the greatest service in organizing the army, and j 
procuring every kind of supplies, and that be behaved 1 
like a brave man on the battle-field. He took my j 
place, moreover, whenever my infirm state of health \ 
rendered it necessary. 

As second chief of stfiGT, Colonel Lobbia was also J 
very useful to me. Colonel Canzio was cliief of ray 1 
head-quarters, till tie took the command of the fifth J 
brigade, to which, after General Bossack's death, the J 
first was added, Canzio was replaced in the command otm 
head-quarters by Major Fontana, Colonel Olivier v 
in command of the artillery. Commandant Bondet, I 
who, afterwards summoned to the army of the Loira,.! 
was killed there, commanded our first cavalry detoolt-l 
ment of thirty men. The cavalry regiment at the endi 
of the campaign was commanded by the major uf ■ 
huflsar squadron, whose name I do nut remember. Oud 


two squadrons of guides were organized by Comman- 
dant Farlatti. Dr. Timoteo Riboli was head of the 

The sous-intendant Beaumes served as intendant, till 
the arrival of an officer to act in that capacity, whose 
name I do not remember. Our paymaster was Colonel 
Martinet ; the head of the telegraph department. Colonel 
Loir ; the head of the engineering department Colonel 

Lieut.-Colonel I>emay was C(Mn.ma7idani de place at 
head-quarters; I do not recollect the name of the 
president of court-martial. 

With this extem]>ore organization, we started, about 
the middle of November, for Amay-le-Due, and the 
valley of the Ouclie, which descends to Dijon. At 
that time, Werder'a Prussian army was there, threaten- 
ing the lihone valley, and keeping its outposts towards 
Dfile, Nuils, Soubernon, etc, scouring all the surrounding 
district with foraging-parties. 

The self-styled army of the Vosges, from 6000 to 
8000 strong, all told, was therefore marching against 
Werder's victorious force of about 20.000 men, with a 
strong body of cavalry and artillery. 

Our frail CB-tireurs engaged in a few skirmishes of 
slight importance, with the exception of Ktcciotti's 
brilliant enterprise at Chitillon-sur-Seine, and that of 
Ordinaire. In the first, the francs- tireurs of the fourth 
brigade executed a magnilicent surprise, described in 
the following order of the day : — 


" Order of the day. 

" The francs-tireurs of the Voages, the chaaseurs of t. 
laere, the (Savoyard) chasseurs of the Alps, t 
battalion of the Doubs. and the Havre chasseurs, 
of whom, under the direction of Ricciotti Garibaldi 
Itave taken part in the affair at Chatillon, havt 
deserved well of the Republic. 

" Being only 400 strong, they attacked about 1000^ 
men, defeated them, made 167 prisoners (includini 
tliirteen officers), and took eighty-two saddled hora 
four fourgons of arms and amuiunition, and the i 
waggon. On our aide there were six men killed, ani^ 
twelve wounded ; the enemy bad more. 

" I commend the prisoners to the generosity of 1 
French nation. 

" G. Garibaldi. 

" Amay-le-Doo, November 21, 1870." 

It may be said that, as a general rule, our &aDoa 
tireurs became more formidable to the enemy every^ 

During the first Prussian occupation of Dijon, 
we were still between Dfllc and the For^t do la Serr 
we attempted a nigiit-attack on the enemy in that cityJ 
being of opinion that, as was said, the people of Dijoal 
were prepared to defend themselves. 

Considering the state of the men I commanded, ourj 
resolution to try our strength against an enemy s»l 
superior in numbers, and victorious in so many battles^ J 
and therefore well accustomed to fighting, was truly a raslll 


one. But, bearing that the Dijonnais were alreailj 
fighting, we willingly went to share their peril. 

We were already within a few miles of the capital 
of Burgundy, when a messenger from the city brought 
us word that Dijon had surrendered, and that the 
municipal authorities had forbidden all resistance. 
We then marched back to our positions. 

We bad now reached the middle of November, with- 
out as yet effecting anything, except the exploit already 
mentioned on tbe part of the francs-tireui-a. Our men 
were growing impatient, being, as usual, desuxius of 
measuring their strength against that of the enemy ; 
and, moreover, complaints of our inaction were raised 
in those very quarters where we had been refused the 
means for energetic action. It therefore became 
necessary to do something. 

It would have been folly to try our strength with 
Werder's army — then in occupation of Dijon — in an 
attack by day ; and we might have found it impossible to 
return. It seemed feasible to attack by night, when tht 
difl'erence of weapons was equalized ; tlie usual bits of 
old iron, which had been supplied to us even in France, 
were, in tlie dark, as good as the needle-guns with which 
our enemies were armed. Besides, it is my conviction 
that there ought to be no firing in a night^attack, 
especially with raw recruits. Wliile the small army of 
the Vosges was marching towards Dijon along the 
Ouche valley, nearly all our franc-tireur corps were on 
our left with the first brigade, all converging toward.'< us, 
to take part in the enterprise. 

On the morning of November 26, hftving ridden up 
to Lantenay, in order to i-econnoitro tliat plateau, I 
found myself on those heights with the staff and the 
officers of my head-quarters, when o. column of several 
thousand Prussians, horae, foot, and artillery, coming 
from Dijon, was seen advancing towards us aloug tlie i 

The position of Lantenay is a strong one towards the I 
river Ouche. On the side of the platform, howevei^, I 
towards Paquea and Prenois. it is completely c< 
manded, and cannot he heM against a superior force. I 
Consequently, I made all the forces we had in the I 
village of Lantenay ascend thence to the plateau, and I 
arranged them there, as they arrived, in their places for I 
the battle, to right and left of the road by which they I 
came, leaving on this road some battalions in columit 1 
as reserves, and for a decisive charge, in ease the enemy I 
should advance into our lines. The greater part of the I 
third brigade, which formed the sinews of our forces j 
occupied the left, drawn up on the edge of the wood, I 
with its lines of sharpshooteis in front, on the crest of I 
tlie hill overlooking this same wooii, The reserves 
the high-road also belonged to the third brigade. 

The Genoese carbineers were posted on the extreme I 
left, and our artillery — consisting of one field-battery 1 
of four rifled pieces, and two mountain -batteries — on | 
the left of the Genoese, as this position commanded all 1 
the rest. 

On our right were Lhost's francs-tireurs, afterwards I 
reinforced by Bicciotti's and others. The small bod^fl 


of cavalry, composed of thirty chasseurs and a few 
j^uides, had been posted in front of our centre, in a 
depression of the ground. It will therefore be seen 
that our principal force consisted of the third brigade, 
wliich by itself alone formed centre, left, and reserve, 
in all about 3000 men. The^ so-called fourth brigade, 
entirely composed of francs-tireurs, did not, on that day, 
count more than 400 or 500 men, the total number 
of all the difierent bodies of francs-tireurs amounting to 
about 2000. In all, therefore, we had not more than 
5000 men. 

Neither the first nor the second brigade took part 
in the fighting at Lantenay, November 26, 1870. 
The first, having been the day before engaged in the 
direction of Fleury, had, in consequence of that defeat, 
retired towards Pont de Pany. The second was on the 
march, and only arrived at Lantenay on the 27th. 

Ravelli*s regiment of the third brigade, composed of 
Italians, was also absent in the neighbourhood of the 




Our line of battle at the edge of the wood, on tho 
plateau of Lanbenay, waa almost entirely concealed 
from the enemy, who could only distinguish Lhost's 
francs-tireura on our extreme right. This was perhaps 
the reason why they sent a battalion to occupy tlif 
village of Paques, near our left, while their main body 
occupied Pienoia, and could be aeen in order of battle 
on the heights of that vill^e. The battalion sent to 
Paques would have been taken prison era, had we 
only had a hundred horse. Paques being occupied by 
the enemy, I sent forward two of our cannon, supported 
by some lines of sharpshooters, who, with a few shots, 
drove the enemy from the village. 

The Prussians, wliile this was happening, had made ' 
a great display of their force, drawing it up ostenta- I 
tiously on the commanding heights of Prenois. Their ' 
battalion, however, precipitately retired, and tliey gave i 
it the scant support of a few guns, without advancing 
the splendid line which they kept in reserve. 

" Then they are not in great force ! " — bo I reasoned I 
with myself. "Are they not coming?" I said aguii. I 
" Well, we must go to find them." 


I resolved, therefore, to attack, and we marched 
resolutely on the enemy in the same order in which we 
had been awaiting them in our positions. 

Our francs-tire ura on the right hravely charged the 
enemy's left, and threatened to throw it into confusion. 
The third brigade advanced in perfect order, with its 
lines of riflemen in front, followed by columns of 
battalions, in close enough order to arouse the envy 
of veterans. 

I waa proud of commanding such men, and felt no 
small pleasure in contemplating so fine an army on an 
unobstructed field, and such courage on the part of my 
young comrades. 

The enemy's artillery, stationed on the lieighte of 
Prenoia, poured such a hail upon our advancing lines as 
only Prussian guns can, yet I did not perceive the 
slightest hesitation — the lines never wavered for a 
moment ; in short, our men behaved admirably. 

The energy, firmuesa, and cool bravery of the re- 
publicana shook the impassive intrepidity of the proud 
victors of S^dan, and when they saw that we did not fear 
their shells, but advanced steadfastly and swiftly to 
the charge, they began their retreat on Dijon. 

The road leading up to Preuois on the side where we 
attacked it, which turns to the left on entering the 
vill^e, has a zigzag course, as the place is situated on a 
liilL Our men, in charging the village, where there alill 
remained a battalion of the enemy, did not perceive this 
winding of the road, or else did not pay any attention 
to it, and, marching quickly in o. direct line on Uie 


houses, were brought up short by the high wall of aa I 
orchard close to the village, which they only passed with I 
much difficulty and losa of time, 

A single company flanked the village on the I 
right, to protect our few horsemen, and together they | 
charged a Prussian reserve battalion which had r»- ' 
mained beliind with two guns to protect their retrenL J 
Colonel Canzio and Commander Bondet, both of whoi 
had their horses killed — indeed, we lost the greater J 
part of our horses — distinguished themselves in this 
charge, I am sorry I cannot remember the name of ' 
the captain of the infantry comjiauy who took part in 
it, and also behaved splendidly. 

The high wall met with by our men cliarging in j 
front, which caused them such loss of time, and another, 
not so high, which stood in the way of our flank attack j 
on the right, saved the enemy. But for these walls, a | 
Prussian battalion and two guns would assuredly bava J 
fallen into our hands. 

The fight of November 26, on the plateau of Lantenay, I 
was nothing much so far as results are concerned, bnl I 
as regards the behaviour of our soldiers when face to \ 
face with the trained warriors of Prussia, it i 

After the engagement on the plateau, the enemy I 
offered no furtlier resistance, continuing their retreat I 
towards Bijon; and we pursued them as far as that I 

It was, I confess, a rash act to attack Werder'ftl 
corps, entrenched as it was in the capital of Burgundy, I 


with about 5000 men, and very little artillery ; and 
certainly I would not have attempted so formidable an 
tmterprise by day. But such was the plan that had, 
been conceived — a eouj) de main. And we had been so 
fortunate during the day; while, on the other hand,, 
only a desperate coup de main could restore the fortunes 
of the unhappy Republic in that part of France, and. 
perhaps oblige the enemy to raise the siege of Paris, by 
threatening his chief line of communication. But what. 
surt of means had the Defensive Government put into 
my handa ? I shudder to think of it. 

The spirit of my poor soldiers was unbounded, and 
all marched to the attack on the city with admirable 
pluck. It was great presumption to hope for victory, 
yet, on a rainy November night, there ia time enough 
to retire in case of failure. I have already seen 
numerous and well-trained troops seized with panic, 
and, judj^ing by what I afterwards heard from the in- 
habitants of Dijon themselves, there was on that night 
a. good deal of confusion among the conquerors of 
Honaparta. The numerous artillery hurried aimlessly 
hitlier and thither over the country, and ended by not 
being posted anywhere. 

The baggage department of Werder's army corps, 
though much better regulated than the French, did not 
fail to enter on a hurried retreat, some to save the 
military chest, others the ammunition, others on other 
pretexts. The fact is, there was great confusion. How- 
ever, to the honour of the Germans be it said, the 
niimeioua infantry corps stationed at Dyon, ^heloned 


themselves in the strong positioiia of Talant, Fontaine, I 
Hauteville, and Jiaix. and received ua with such a hail J 
of bullets as [ have never seen equalled ; something ] 
more than intrepidity was wanted to face such 

My young soldiers did their duty as well as any mei 
could under such circumstances. The Prussian outposts J 
were assailed one after another, and destroyed in spile 
of an obstinate defence. In the morning, the corpses 
of our men were fimnd piled up on those of the enemy, 
the greater part of the latter pierced with bayonets, as 
I had issued orders not to lire. 

In the tliick of the hornets' nest, just under Talant, I 
the Prussian fire became too heavy for us, and we I 
began to fall back to right and left of the high-road, lo I 
escape the direct shots which ploughed it up in a j 
horrible way. 

Our assault on the Dijon positions began about I 
7 p.m. It was very dark and rainy, and the circum- I 
stances, therefore, favourable to this kind of under- J 
taking ; and till two o'clock I had great confidence in \ 
our success. Our men marched briskly, and as close as 
possible one behind the other— a system which I think 
is always preferable in night-attacks, unless it is possible 
to send skirmishing-parties to other points in order ui 
divert the enemy's attention. This was imposs; 
me, considering the small number of our forces and t 
nature of the ground. 

About 10 p.m., the leaders of the vanguard sent i 
word that it was useless to persist in the attack, as t 

enemy's resistance was something frightful, and it waa 
impossible to make our men — who were gaining the 
country on either side of the road— advance any further, 
r reluctantly yielded to the representations of my 
faithful friends, and at once began to think of the 
niifavourable and repugnant circumstances of defeat. 
Fortunately it was niglit, and November, Tlie enemy 
ilid not move from their position, and we were able to 
execute our retreat undisturbed. 

A retreat after a victorious conflict and an unsuc- 
oesaful attack — that is. after having been on one's feet 
from morning till 10 p.m. — could not, by untrained 
troops such as those under my command, be executed 
in jiood order, especially as they had been all day with- 
I lut food. Hence the onler to retreat on Lantenay, which 
waa immediately carried out. Some took the road by 
SoubernoD and Arnay-le-Duc, never stopping till they 
reached Autun ; but the greater number remained at 
Ijintenay, and, a regiment of Gardes Mobiles, with 
Ravelli's and the greater part of the second brigade, 
having already reached that point, we found ourselves 
.still numerous enough to do something. 

On the afternoon of November 27, the Prussians 
reached the heights of Lantenay, in more considerable 
numbers than on the preceding day, which proves that 
they were very numerous at Dijon, and that Werder, 
having repulsed us from that capital, naturally wished to 
follow up his advantage. The first shock of the enemy's 
charge was sustained by the new corps, those who had 
fought through the preceding day being tired ouL 


The Prussian forces, however, being strong, and tlie 
retreat tlirough the woods easy, no serious engagement 
took place, and we continued our retreat towards AutUD, 
where we hoped to collect our scattered troops. 

Among our losses in the affair of the 27th was one 
very deeply felt, that of Commandant Chapeau, of 
Marseilles, a gallant and excellent officer. 

In certain eases, one must treat men as one would 
treat bullocks. If they break loose, one must let Uiem 
run at tlieir own sweet will. Woe to the man who 
commits the imprudeuce of crossing their path ; be will 
be overthrown, horse and rider, aa happened to me at 
Velletri in 1849, where it was only a miracle that I 
escaped with my life, and black and blue at that. 
Break loose ! Let them break loose, run away, dash 
themselves headlong — don't trouble your head about 
them ; content yourself with taking your place on one 
side or in the rear. They will find some obstacle ; they 
will be stopped by a river, a mountain, by hunger, by 
thirst, or by a new terror, nearer or greater than tlie 
first. Then is your time. Get your human animals into 
order again as best you can ; try to give them food, drink, 
and repose ; and when they are refreshed, restod, and their 
spirits raised once more, they will remember a ahame- 
ful flight, duty trampled underfoot, and glory I !n»e 
worst of all human follies ! 

The same thing happens with buUocks, except that 
those brutes, fortunately for us, do not think of glory. 
Guided by several horsemen, bullocks are easily 
frightened by anything and everything — a thunderdiq}. 



a flash of lightning, a gust of wind — and begin to run 
as only wild beasts can. Tlie leader, if he is a sensible 
man, is not such a fool as to tell his men to stop them 
by getting in their way, which would be certain death. 
But be follows them, in flank or rear, without losing 
sight of them, till some obstacle or other comes in the 
way of the fugitives — a river, a wood, a mountain ; then 
the front ranks stop and turn, and all the rest stop and 
turn also. At this point the skilled leader orders his 
horsemen to sunound the herd, once more quiet as 
lambs, and thus the brutes are once more brought under 
the dominion of their tyrant. Man — though I do not 
know whether, after all, he is really much better tlian 

Nearly all the retreating corps of the so-called army 
of the Vosges concentrated themselves at Antun, with 
the exception of a few which, for various reasons, 
retired to a greater distance. Some of these were entire 
corps, some iflolat«d individuals — scattered, most cer- 
tainly, because they had no desire to fight. Among 
these last was a Colonel Chenet, commander of the 
eastern guerrillas, whom tlie pricata have placed among 
the holy martyrs, like St. Domenieo Arbu^s, and similar 
scoundrels ; and they would have made a still greater 
martyr of him, if I had allowed the sentence of deatli 
pnmounced by the Autun court-martial to be executed. 
Chenet had been guilty of a military crime — cowardice 
— which deserves death a hundred times over. At 
midday, he was to have been shot, and I reprieved him 
about 1 1 a.m., at the intercession of some officers — on 


condition, however, of public degradation, which 1-| 
should consider worse than death. 

At Autun, my favourite head-quarters — where tbftl 
prefect, Marais, had received ua with riglit goodwill, and 
helped us in our orj;anization — we reformed the army 
of the Vosges, and were reinforced with additional 
cannon, of which we stood so much in need. 

On December 1, however, the enemy, emboldenedl 
by our retreat, songlit us in our {>osition8 at Autun, and < 
came in sight unexpectedly. I say unexpectedly, and 
I may even say, without exaggeration, that they sur- 
prised us. It was about noon, and I bad gone out to 
reconnoitre as usual. Every morning, mounted scouts 
were sent out in all directions, and all our posts on the 
side nearest tiie enemy occupied by stronj^ detachments J 
I had already visited these advanced posts early in the J 
morning, had assured myself of tbeir existence, and I 
iulvisod the ofhcers in charge of them to keep watch wicb I 
tlie most scrupulous care. They were occupied by t 
eastern guerrillas, commanded by Cheuet ; the M«P' I 
seillais guerrillas — who reached the convent of St I 
Martin, the centre of our outposts, just as 1 was leaving I 
it — commanded, after Chapuau's death, by a brave* 
officer whose name I do not i-eniember ; and, lastly, tho-l 
battalion of the Basses- Pyrenees, on the left, in tlifti 
convent of St. Jean. The outposts on the right v 
stationed in another convent, SU Pierre (save tbe^ 
mark!). During my midday drive, tliough I thouglit ' 
all our outposts well guarded, I did not fail to direct 
ray telescope, from the ruins of a Koman temple which 


d ^ 




comm&ndB Autun, and to which I had climbed, to the 
siUTOuiiding plaiss. But it would seem that ray ob- 
servations were made at boo great a distance, for I saw 
nothing. Not discovering anything from the site to 
which I had descended to make further observations, 
I returned to the airriage, and my staff were, as usual, 
kindly assisting me to get into it — indeed, I had one 
foot on the step — when, casting my eyes on Autun, I 
pei'ceived, in the lower port of tlie city, in the Bourg 
St. Martin, the head of a Pmssian column slowly 
udvanciug. Had it continued to advance, tlie city of 
Autun would assuredly have fallen an easy prey to the 
Prussians; and the army of the Vosges — 1 blush to 
reniember it — wonld have sustained one of the most 
tremendous defeats ever known. 

" Ride," I said to the mounted ofhcers of iny stafT — 
" ride as fast as you can to Bordone, to Menotti, to every 
one ; tell them to take their arms and fight I " I was 
more upset hy shame and vexation tlian liy alarm. 
My orders being issued, the carriage ascended with all 
haste to Autun, traversed the city, and made as swiftly 
as possible for the small seminary where our artillery " 
was stationed, on the platform of this clerical cstabliah- 
Tnent — in a position, fortunately, to com in and the 
enemy's colamn. 

Out artillery was at that time composed of two field- 
batl4!ries, of four rifled guns each, and one mountain- 
battery — in all eighteen pieces ; but no gunners were on 
ihe spot. Canzio and Basso mounted the first gmt ; 
thejte gallant aides of mine, one at each wheel, had 

338 AUTOSiooRAPny of Giuseppe OARiBALDt.% 

soon pointGd it. They were presently helped by UiB 
rest of my staff, who came up in siiccession, and, at 
last, by the respective gunners, who came riiahing out 
of their quarters, and behaved admirably. 

It wa.s our good luck that the enemy did not discover 
the atate of surprise we were in, and probably — on 
account of the silent and deserted condition of the 
place — suspected some ambuscade. If, instead of the 
head of the column stopping at St, Martin, they had 
at once entered Autun, they would assuredly have met 
with no resistance, and would have surprised our mea 
in their quarters. Instead of this, they planted their 
artillery on the heights of St. Martin, and began to 
shell our position. 

This arrangement of theirs was our safety. Our 
eighteen guns, concentrated in a position which com- 
manded that of the enemy, and enthusiastically served 
by our young gunners, full of mortification at having 
been surprised, overwhelmed the enemy with projectiles, 
and obliged tliem. after several houra' fighting, to with-i 
draw their artillery. 

Several companiesof franoa-tireura, and some battalions 
of mobiles, thrown out against the Prussian left flank, 
completed the success of the day-, and the enemy were 
forced to retreat. 

- The losses we felt most wore those among the 
artillery, both ofHcers and privates, and the gre&t«sC 
of all I can remember was that of Major Guido 
Vjzzardo, who was wounded in the thigh, and Imd 
have it amputated. 

do M 



The frnncs-tireura behaved witli their usual gallantry. 

The two Italian reKiments were kept in reserve 
inside the city, and few men belnnging to them took 
part in the action, except the Genoese carbineers, who 
mareiied in the centre, and had a great share in causing 
the enemy's retreat. 

The three advanced positions which were to cover 
our small army, but did not Bucceed in doing bo at 
Autun. were St. Martin in the centre, St. Jean on the 
left, and St. Pierre on the right. (In France, too, the 
number of saints is no joke; they seem, as with us in 
Italy, of little use for purposes of national defence.) 
St. Jean was garrisoned with a battalion of mobiles 
from the Basses- Pyrenees belonging to the third brig ade 
a body of men who had all Menotti'a sympathy and 
mine, and, though always worthy of it, were especially 
Au on this occasion, when they behaved most gallantly, 
and inspired the enemy with aome respect. 

Several detachments of Mobiles were also posted at 
St. Pierre. In the centre, however, the strong posi- 
tion of St. Martin was abandoned by the eastern and 
Marseilles guerrillas, about 700 men, through a cowardly 
order from Colonel Chenet Tliis desertion, it seems, 
took place before the arrival of the enemy, so that 
the latter could occupy this important post quite at 
their leisure. If this was not treason on the part of 
the colonel above mentioned, I do not know what 
else to call it. However that may be, and whatever 
excuses ho may find for liimself, with the assistance of 
the French clerical party, the conduct of this otBcer, 

who without orders abandoned our most important 

position, thuB exposing the army to the risk of destruc- 
tion, and the city to that of plunder, dragged along 
with him the corps which he commanded, and aDother 
which yielded to his insinuationa through the inex- 
perience of the officers, and fled to a distance of forty 
or fifty kilometres, — his conduct, I repeat, is some- 
thing for which no name will serve, something which 
I never remember even to have heard of in all my 
military life — a kind of gmlt for which there is no 
adequate punishment. And this Colonel Chenet, whom 
I was sufficiently weak to save from the death 
to wliich the court-martial had doomed him — this 
dastard became the chief hero of the priesthood and 
the chauvinerir, among whom he only just fell short 
of being canonized ; while the reactionary journals 
issued laudatory bii]grapliies of him, and indulged in 
the most exaggerated panegyrics of the basest action iii 
the world. Such is the civilization of this age, whose 
foundation rests on corruption and falsehood. 

I do not wish to end this chapter without mention- 
ing young Vizeteily, the brave and sympathetic corr^ 
spondeut of the Daiiy Nev:s. He was not fighting the 
I'masians, his mission was entirely different, yet he 
rendered me the greatest services as staff-t/flicer during 
the time I was fortunate enough to have him in ray 
company. At the fight of Lantenay, 1 was several 
hours on horseback, and, having no charger of my own, 
took the first that was offered me. This poor animal, at 
the very beginning of the battle— from what cause 1 do 



not know — slipped with all four feet, and fell with me, 
lying across my right leg in a way to cause me great 
pain. Thanks to the exertions of the friends who sur- 
rounded me, I was soon extricated, and Vizetelly, who 
was beside me, kindly offered me an excellent white 
horse of his own, which I accepted, and rode fw the 
rest of tlie day. 

Marais, sous-pr^et of Autun, is anothw man whose 
name the Italians of the Vosges army will remember 
with love and gratitude. That honest republican 
welcomed us on our arrival at Autun with the greatest 
kindness and sympathy, which never failed during our 
stay in that city. On December 1, when we were 
attacked by the Prussians,. Sous-Prefet Marai» laid 
aside his office, and presented himself, with his rifle, in 
the front rank of the combatants, firing away like any 
private soldier. 



JASUART 21-25, 1871. 

The victory of Aiitim raised the coiirage of our young 
soldiers, which had been somewhat shaken, and those 
Prussians who had repulsed us at Dijon were in their 
turn repulsed by us and driven back in disorder. 

One fresh corps, and that not a lai^e one, would have 
sufficed to hasten the enemy's retreat, and force them, 
at least, to leave Ijehind the guns and a large number 
of prisoners. I sought them in vain. But what we 
could not do was accomplished by General Cremer, 
who, being in the neighbourhood of Beaune, witli some 
thousands of good troops, crossed the mountains from 
Beaune to Bligny, and, attacking the enemy iu flank 
near Vendenesse, completely routed them. 

The greatest part of December was passed at Autun 
in organizing new corps, with a little more artillery 
and a few squadrons of cavalry ; always in expectation 
of the cloaks which the rigour of the season rendered 
indispensable, not to speak of other articles of clothing, 
and better rifles to replace the wretched worn-out ones 
we were armed with. 

The affair at Autun also increased the prestige of 



our small corps ; we were overwhelmed with the bless- 
ings of the inhabitants, saved by that victory, who vied 
with each other in sending warm woollen garnieots for 
the soldiers, and sums of money for our wounded. 

At Antun, we served to cover two flank movements — 
that of General Crousat, from Chagny to Orleans; and 
that of the great army of the Loii'e towards the east, 
commanded by General Bourbaky. The coimtry, being 
covered with snow and ice, made these movementa not 
only difficult, but murderous for men and horses. 
In consequence of Bourbaky's movement, the Prussians 
evacuated Dijon, which we occupied with some com- 
panies of francs -tireura ; indeed, we should have done so 
with our whole force at once, if all the trains on the 
railway bad not been engaged in the service of that 

About the end of December and the beginning of 
January, the weather had become exceedingly cold ; 
the snow liad hardened into ice, and transport was 
very difficult, especlilly for cannon and cavalry. The 
enemy, with well-trained troops, equipped at all points, 
with the prestige of victor)', and the insolence of the 
victorious soldier in a foreign country, who thought 
nothing, not only of despoiling the j>oor inhabitants of 
nil their provisions and furniture, but of driving them 
out of their beds in order to take possession themselves, 
had great advantages over the inexperienced French 
soldiers, newly recruited, and in want of the moat 
absolute necessaries. 

General Bourbaky's movement, however good in idea^ 


was, for the above-naiined reoaons aad many others, 
difficult to execute, particularly in the miserably dis- 
organized state of the Intel li;j;ence department. 

A cavalry general of Boorbaky's army, who \'iBited 
me while passing throu^U Autun with his division, 
assured me tlmt the array was in a very deploraltle 
state. He said to me, " I can get ray horsea to marcli 
a few kilometres, but they are certainly not fit for fight- 
ing, and are getting worse every day." The same was 
the case with the horsea of the artillery and T>aggag«r 
train, and with the men in every branch of the aenice. 
90 that, even then, disaster might have been con- 
tidently predicted for the army of the Ixiire. 

That fresh and numerous army, with another fort- 
night of organization and teet, having once got over the 
terrible time of the January frosts, might have revived 
the hopes of exhausted and prostrate France. Instead 
of this, it was literally thrown away, and wasted in the 
roost atrocious way. 

I was aware of Manteuffel's movement, parallel witJ> 
that of Bourbaky, in order to reinforce Werder and the 
besiegers of Belfort ; and I would certainly have done 
my best, in accordance with the desire of the Giovem- 
ment, to arrest his march by a Hank movement. Heaven 
knows what grief it was to me to be unable to carry out 
this operation, which would so greatly have assisted tlie 
army of tJie East. 

I made the attempt ouce, and marched out of Uijou, 
with the main strength of my troops, to attack the 
enemy at Is-sur-Till, leaving General Pellisaier with 


15,000 mobilized Gardes Nationales in commaad of tlie 
city; but I was induced, by the strong Prusaian columns 
wliich I found confronting me, to reaume my tirat posi- 
tion. Notwithstanding this, two of my four brigades, 
the second and the fourtli, oi>erated on tlie enemy's 
(jomraunications, conjointly with all the franc-tireur 

Having resolved to defend Dijon, my first care was 
to continue the defensive works already begun by the 
I'russians and by General Pellissier. 

The positions of Talant and Fontaine, two kilometres 
west of the city, which overlook the main road to Poria, 
and are, at the same tiii>e, the most conspicuous and 
important, were the first to have some flying works 
placed on the top of them, two field-batteries of twelve 
guns and two of four being stationed at Talant. and at 
Fontaine, one field-battery of four rifled guns and one 
mountain -battery of the same calibre. 

Suveral batteries of twelve gnns, which the Govern- 
ment hod successively sent to General Pellissier, were 
placed in other works thrown up at Montrauzard, 
Montchapp^, Bellair, and in all tiie most conspicuous 
positions in the neigh bourhoo<i of Dijon, in order to 
keep the enemy's fire at a distance from the city in 
case of an attack, wliich was expected from day to day. 

Dame Fortune is paramount in war, and we were 
truly favoured l)y her, the enemy having, on .January 
21, attacked us iu the west — or, one may say, taken the 
bull by the horns. 

As we had carefully studied the ground on that side 


wliich had strong positions, protected by walla and 
banks for lines of sliarpsbooters to right and left, of 
the higli-road, with thirty-six guua stationed on the 
commanding heights of Talaut and Fontaine, the success 
of our defence was brilliant. And a vigorous defence 
was Deeded, for the formidable cQlumn marching on u& 
from PaiTS might well be called a column of steeL Our 
thirty-six pieces enfilading the road, and several thou- 
sands of our bravest men spread out behind shelter, 
were scarcely enough to check it. The attack on tlie 
west being aaoertaiaed, we concentrated a strong force 
on that side, without having to lay bare the nortliemi 
and eastern sides of the circuit of defence, where I> 
always expected the principal attack to take place, witJi 
only a feigned attack on tiie west. My expectations were 
not fulfilled ; the attack, fortunately for «s, was made 
on the west, and on that side only, thoBgh with simul- 
taneous attacks of flanking corps on the enemy's left,, 
towards Hauteville njid Daix, and on Ids right, towards 
Plonibierea, in the valley of the Ouche. The attack was 
a formidable one. I hud never faced better soldiers than 
I saw before me that day. The column marching on 
our centiul position showed admirable valour and coolr ' 
nesB. They came up, compact as a rain-cloud, not' 
quickly, but wilii a uniformity, an order, and a calmness,! 
which were perfectly terrible. 

This column, raked by all our enfilading artillery, andl 
by all the lines of infantry iu advance of Talant audi 
Fontaine parallel to the road, left the field covered wil 
corpses, and, re-forming several times in depressions 



JANUAHY 21-28, 1871. 


tlie ground, resumed their forward march in the same 
calm and orderly way as before. They ■were famoux 

Our men also showed great valour that day, and were 
quite worthy of their assail&uta. For one moment only 
they were disconcerted by a terrible flank attack on our 
right in the direction erf Daix, wiiich cost us a good 
many gallant fellows. Tlie enemy being driven back 
into the cemetery of the village, onr men wei-e seen 
climbing over the wall, and clinging to tlie Prussian 
bayonets, to drag them out of the men's hands. On 
our left, on the otlier hand, the enemy was hemmed 
ill by strong lines of sharpshooters posteii at right 
angles to our main line, so that their right was nearly 
cut off from Plombieres. 

Tlie Pruasian right was also attacked with musketry- 
fire by the forces of Colottel Pelletier and Braun's francs- 
tireura, who, descending from Bellair into the valley 
of the Ouche, compelled them to make a hasty retreat. 

Thus the battle raged from morning till sunset, with 
the greatest possible fuiy on both sides, and without a 
marked advantage on either. On the north, we still 
kept the positions we had held during the day, and the 
Prussians still retained theirs. 

But here a thing happened which 1 have often 
noticed on similar occaaions, wher« new troops have 
been in conflict with a veteran army. The latter 
remain under arms ; the former, under pretext of 
liunger and thirst, of fetching ammunition, or anything 
fise, try to leave their posts and go to refresh themselves. 




or talk over the glories of the day. And this is apt 
to occur more especially in the vicinity of a town. 
1 therefore take this opportunity of pointing out to 
my young countrymen— as I shall never cease to do- 
the necessity for the greatest endurance and persever- 
ance in fighting." 

With nightfall, our soldiers, who could very well I 
have held the positions so valiantly defended during' 
the day, retii'ed towards the city under one pretext and 
another, and crowded together on. the road beneath 
Talant, forming such a confusioa that ordurs could 
neither be given nor received, and uo man could liearj 
another speak. Descending from' Talant, where 1 
been during the whole time of the fight, I found my- 
self involved in a throng so dense that I could n* 
control my horse, and was pushed almut so brutally 
as to be very nearly thrown head over heels, horse aad 

The enemy, on the other hand, more astute, and 
better inured to warfare, having reconnoitred 
advanced posts and found them vacant, tntirched 
forward, and poured a tremendous volley into us wl 
we were in tlie confusion above described. Fortonatel' 
as we were in a depression of the ground, there 
distinct rise between the enemy and us, so that tbeoBi 
bullets nearly all passed over our beads. 


' Two armies in Ameri(.'a htul fought bravely all d&y ; villi 
niglilfall both of tbein left tbe battle-field. One of tbe two general* 
found this out, retunied to the field, and pTuclaimed himaelf tli« 

JANUARY 21-23, 1871. 349 

The retraat of our outposts, and the enemy's advance, 
made the night a wretched one for me, and it was not 
improved by subsequent occurrences. 

At 11 p.m.. I waa stretched ont, dead tired, on my 
bed in the Dijon prefecture, when a committee, con- 
siating of General Pellissier and the mayor of the city, 
with part of the municipal council and the magistracy, 
waited on me to tell me the enemy were within our 
lines, in possession of Talant, and perhaps of Fontaine ; 
and that a Prussian colonel had signified, on behalf 
of the commander-in-cldef, to a magistrate there present, 
that if Dijon did not capitulate at dawn, the city would 
he bombarded. 

At sixty-four, when one has seen a little of the world, 
one is not so easily made a fool of, and I perceived 
at once that this was merely an idle boast on the part 
of the hostile general, tempted to rodomontade by the 
astonishing victories of the Prussian arms. Yet this 
intelligence, communicated to me by men able to 
speak with authority, was not to be despised — 
esipecially as the magistrate who brought me the infor- 
mation had gone in search of his son — wlio, he feared, 
was wounded — to tlie battle-field, aud thus met the 
Prussian colonel My rest was therefore at an end. 
and, giving orders to have the horses put to at once, 
I mode all poflsible arrangements for sending out scouts 
and verifying the truth of the rL'port. 

The roads were frozen hard, and it was snowing; 
for an invalid like myself, it was no light undertaking 
to go the round of the outposts. But it was the only 


thing to be clone. How could we remain indoors after" 
receiving such news, with the men tired out, and in 
presence of so brave and enterprising an enemy ? 

After having spent several hours in arranging 
detachment of our best troops to form a nucleus, andl 
given orders for every one to be ready for battle before 
daylight, I started in the early hours of the momingB 
for Montchappe, the first of our positions in the directioo I 
of the enemy, where were two twelve-pounders, prowl 
tected by a battalion of ntobilized National Guard&.l 
1 found nothing new at that point, hut all in good order. ] 
I then went mi to Fontaine, and finally to Talant,.! 
where we found no trace of the enemy. The threat of 1 
Iwmbardment had been sheer bravado on the part of thai 
enemy ; and not only were we not bombarded by themf 
on the 22nd, but towards evening we were fortunatol 
enough, after once more fighting all day, to drive cl 
iVom the positions occupied on the previous .evenin^l 
and put them to flight. 

Perseverance and endurance to the end in battle— 
tltia is one of the keys of victory ! IJut the men i 
weary and cry, " We are worn out and starving ! " J 
Very well, go to seek food and rest; tlie enemy will I 
advance, eat the food you have prepared, and give yoo I 
the rest you want with the butt-end of their rifles. 
Perseverance, endnmnce, and, above all, wntchfulness — 
of this last you can never have enougli. How many 
generals one knows at the present day, who think 
that their rank will excuse them from being present in 
the immediate neighbourhood of a battle ; who content 


JANUARY 21-23, 1871. 


themselves with receiving information, and giving orders 
to tlieir subordinate officers, at a distance ! A miatake ! 
The supreme commander ought, without needlessly ex- 
posing himself, to remain as near as he can to the centre 
or objective point of the battle-Held, and if possible 
on a height, so as to overlook a larger extent 
of country, and more effectually hasten the despatch 
of orders and receipt of information. Moreover, the 
view of operations obtained in person by the man who 
ia to direct them, is worth far more than any information. 
The 22nd of January, 1871, proved that, if we were 
tired out by the fight on the previous day, the Prussians 
were still more tired and unhinged than we. Brave and 
intrepid as they had been on the first day, so also they 
were on the second ; but they did not hold out so well, 
which made me hope that on the 23rd we should have 
time to rest from the fatigues of the two preceding days. 
On January 22nd, we lost, among others, an officer of 
gre-at merit — Lhost, commander of the united francs- 
tireurs, a corps comjjosed of over 800 men, who ha^l 
greatly contributed to the enemy's discomfiture on the 
preceding day by a vigorous attack on their right flank, 
and had a great share in the victory of the 22nd. His 
place as commander of that gallant corps was supplied 
by LieuL-Colonel Baghino, an officer of great promise. 

The avalanche of Prussians — to use the expression of 
an excellent officer of mine — was so great that it 
threatened Ui bury us, even on the 23rd. 

About the middle of the day, they threatened an 
attack on Fontaine, and sent some battalions thither to 



make a feint of attacking, but almost immediately 

afterwards apjiearetl in dense columns on tlie Langres 

road, with other cohimna tianking them to the east, al 

_, St. Apollinaire, towiirds Montmuzai-d. 

Tiie attack on the Langres road was formidable, atu 
worthy of the terrible army confronting us. Nearly a 
our corps wavered, except the fourth brigade, wh: 
maintained itself inamanufactory of artificial manuM 
fortunately aurrounded by a wall, in which they liad ' 
made loopholes — to the left of the road. Several 
hundred men of the third brigade, which was in course 
of formation, and had been decimated in the fight of th* 
2l8t, ai'ter anatainiiig the shock of the Prussian onsc 
in an adjacent building further back from the road, j 
joined the fourth. 

Through the retreat of our riglit wing, these corj 
were for a time hemmed in by the enemy, who 1 
)>laced their artilleiy on a bill overlooking Pouilly a 
I>ijon, to Uie norlli. Firing with the skill and ] 
cision to which they had already accustomed ua, thq 
in a short time silenced all the guns of our centre, 1 
on the road and on either side of it. We could rep^ 
only with a few shots from our two guns at Monta 
muzard, the two at Montchapp4 and two others. Thef 
Ifiat, when we saw tlie impossibility of keeping them | 
their first position under the fire of the IVuss 
artillery, were ])laced on a road to the right of the i 
one. and forming an acut« angle with it 

Towards the north our situation was critical, and I 
rnissiitiis, being masters of the tield, thteuteDed \ 

JASUABY 21-23, 1871. 


attack on the city. We tried to post our retreating 
corps in the rear, near the enclosure abeady mentioned, 
wUicli had several serviceable walls, some of them 
pierced with loopholes. Certain cowards, who had 
deserted their posts in fear, or wished to place their 
money in safety, had already raised the alarm in the 
town, and spread panic everywhere by demanding trains 
at the railway station, to take them to a place of safety. 

Our extreme left, consisting principally of the third 
brigade, and posted at Talant and Fontaine, in view of 
the retreat of the centre, had pushed forward its fnincs- 
tirenrs on the enemy's right, and was resolutely march- 
ing to their support. About dusk, a few corps of 
mobilise on our right, throwing themselves energetic- 
ally forward on I'ouilly (the principal objective of the 
battle-field), repulsed the enemy from tlie ground they 
liad gained, and drove them back a long way beyond 
the castle.* In this way, the fourth brigade, to whom the 
chief credit of the battle is due, were freed from the 
fltonn-cloud of foes which had for a time enveloped 
them, and even succeeded — in a hand-to-hand fight, 
while repulsing the repeated attacks of the sixty-first 
Prussian regiment — in taking their colours, which had 
been left buried under a heap of slain. 

I have seen more tlian one murderous figlit in my 
time, but certainly not often looked on so great a 
number of corpses piled up in a small space, as I saw 
in the position to the north of the building I spoke of 

* The Castlo of Pouilly, witbio csnnon-Bhot of Dijon, bad been 
■bandoaed by our men at the beginning of tho battle. 


before, occupied by the fourth brigade and part of the i 
fifth. When I speak of the fourth and fifth brigades being 
opposed to a Prussian regiment, it must not be opposed 
that they were complete brigades, but nuclei of brigades 
in course of formation, containing, the fourth about 1000 
men, the fifth leas than 300. 

During the early hours of the night, the enemy were < 
in full retreat, and for several days left us quiet at 
Dijon, evacuating also the surrounding vill^es, which 
we immediately occupied. 

The greater mimber of otir francs-tireorg, after bearing 
a worthy part in the three days' battle, were again 
thrown out in all directions, towards the enemy's 
communications, between Soubemon, Dflle, and other 
places. The second brigade, separated several daya 
before from the main body, was fighting splendidly to 
northward, in the environs of Langrea. 

I cannot bring my narrative of the glorious battle of 
Dijon to a close without making mention of my dear 
friend and valiant comrade. General Bossack. This 
Polish hero sent me word on the morning of January 
21 that, as there was a report that the Prussians were 
approaching from Val Suzon, he was himself going to 
reconnoitr& He advanced, at the head of a few men. 
to make his obsen'ations and ascertain the number of 
the enemy. But, urged on by his indomitable coum^, 
and wishing to assure himself with his own eyes of all 
that was necessary, ao as to give me an exact accouitt, 
he ventured so near the Prussian vanguard that be was 
involved in a skirmish, and, disdaining to fly, fell » 

JANUARY 21-23, 1871. 355 

victim to his bravery. I heard nothing of him for 
many days, and it was thought that he had been left 
wounded in some peasant's house. 

The loss we had sustained, however, was known 
among the staff, who kept it from me, with a delicate 
consideration, as long as they could. 

I trust — nay, I am certain — that when France shall 
have a better government, the State will adopt the 
orphans of the gallant Bossack, who died for her. 



The news of the armistice, and afterwards that of 
the capitulation of Paris, and finally of Bourbaky's 
emigration to Switzerland, completely changed the 
aspect of affairs, and a kind of panic and uncertainty 
seized upon the people, who had hoped for an improve- 
ment in the condition of France consequent upon the 
advantages we had gained. With the majority the 
effect was a favourahle one, looking, as they did, for 
the approaching end of that terrible war. 

As I had always found it the case in Italy when 
once the war was drawing to a close, the Defensive 
Government became very liberal as reganis supplies of 
every kind, and reinforcements to every bratich of the 

Our little army, by the addition of some 15,000 men 
of Pelliasier's mobilises, now amounted to about 40,000. 
However, the enemy, now that Paris was ofif their 
hands, and the army of the east had passed into 
Switzerland, began to collect an imposing force to act 
against us, and, in spite of all the defensive works 




thrown up by us, and the late increase in oiir numbers, 
would have ended by aoattering or surrounding us, as 
they had surrounded the French armies at Metz, S^an, 
and Paris, 

The Pnissians, with the prestige gained by victory, 
were naturally expected to act in a high-handed 
manner ; and accordingly, while the armistice was being 
kept in Paris, and all over Prance, it was not valid 
for us. 

Besides, in a delimitation whicli was said to traverse 
Burgundy, the neutral ground between the enemy's 
lines and our own, was very ill-defined, and, in any 
case, we were driven out of Dijon and all the positions 
we had hitherto occupied, and thrown back towards the 
the south. 

Flushed with success, the enemy grew more and 
more insolent, as they received fresh reinforcements — 
which they did every day. Under different pretexts, 
they several times tried to surround our men on out- 
post duty and make them prisoners, but without success, 
as thoy had to deal with men who did not trust them. 
By order of the Bonleaux Government, we were to 
make our own arrangements with the Prussians, as to 
the armistice and delimitations ; and General Bordone, 
my chief of staff, paid several visits to the enemy's 
camp on this errand. But, as I have already stated, 
the result of his mission was, that there was to be no 
armistice for us. 

From Jantiary 23 to February 1, we held out as best 
we could, in Uie capital of Burgundy, and in all our 


positions, against the encroachments of the enemy. I 
After the lessons received in the three days' fight, I 
they certainly unilerstood that a amall force was not I 
enough to produce any effect on ns, and quietly collected I 
a very large one, so that towards the end of January, 
their columns occupied our front in force, and were j 
beginning to extend far enough to surround our flanks. 
Manteuffel'a army, now that it was free of ours of the 
east, was descending towards the Rhone valley and j 
threatening our line of retreat. 

On January 31, the fighting began on our left in tha | 
early morning, and went on tiU late at night. Tha 
enemy tried us on various points, taking up positions 
outside Dijon for a general attack. Some Pnissiau 
corps showed themselves in the valley of the Sa6ne, 
threatening to take our right in the rear. 

There was no time to be lost We wore the last I 
mouthful that tempted the greed of the great army which 
had conquered France, and no doubt wished to make us j 
pay for the temerity of having for one moment contested I 
its victory. 

The retreat was ordered in three columns. The fourth I 
brigade (commanded, after Bossack's death, by Canzio), to I 
which the fifth was added, was to descend in a direction I 
parallel with the Lyons railway, guarding the heavy I 
artillery and all our supplies, which were being trans- 
ported in waggons. The third brigade, under Menotti, I 
set out along the Ouche valley towards Autun. The.-! 
fourth marched for Verdun, by St. Jean de Losne^l 
along the right bank of the Saone. 



The staff left by rail, and tlie bead-tiuartera were 
fixed at Cbagny, a central point for collecting the army, 
while several other corps and companies of fraocs-tireura 
detached from the brigades repaired likewise to the 
new baae of operations. All was executed in the best 
possible order, thanks to the activity of the chief of 
staff, of Colonel Olivier, commander-general of artillery, 
and of all the leaders of the corps, without our being 
molested by the enemy, and with less confusion than 
one might have expected from raw troops on a night- 

Tlie retreat took place during the night of January 
31, and the enemy occupied Dijon about 8 a.m. on 
February 1. 

From Cbagny, our head-quarters were transferred to 
Chalons -a ur-Saone, and thence to Courcelles, where a 
castle in the neighbourhood of the town was utilized for 
the purpose. 

The capitulation of Paris being an accomplished fact, 
and the armistice transformed into preliminaries of 
peace, I decided, as they had elected me deputy to the 
Bordeaux Assembly, to repair to that city on February 
8, with the sol© object of giving my vote in the eer\'ice 
of the unhappy Republic. I left Menotti provifiionally 
in command of the army. 

Every one knows how I was received by the 
majority of deputies to the Assembly. Certain tltat I 
could do no more for the unhappy country I had come 
to serve, I reaolved to go to Marseilles, and thence to 
Caprera, where I arrived on February 16. 1871. 


The anny of the Vosges, composed of elements too 
republican for the taste of Thiers' government, naturally 
came in for the antipathy of the latter, and was 


Civita Vecchift, July 15, 1875. 
The battle of Canto?*, the plan of which is now before 
me, resembles all other ancient and modem battles won by 
genius bein^ on one side. From Eparainondas, at Lonctra 
and Mantineia, to the Pfassian generals in 1870, it has 
always been incoateatable that the obliqne order is the 
proper one ; and when employed, it has always resulted 
in victory. 

At Roabach, Frederick II., by massing his forces, and 
by the swiftness of his manmnvring, took the French anny 
in flank and utterly routed it. 

At Mantua, Napoleon I., hearing that the Anstrians 
were marching down, one column on either shore of I^ake 
Qarda, in order to defeat the two hostile corps separately, 
left his heavy artillery behind, marched with faia entire 
anny, and threw its full weight against one wing. 

In America, Paz, knowing that Echague had his men 
drawn up in battle orray behind a cappSo (clump of trees), 
presented a parallel lino to the enemy, with orders, 
however to withdraw the rear ranks from the right, and 
reinforce the left. In this way, Echagne's left found on the 
enemy's right only a few cavalry squadrons, who retreated 
at a gallop. Meanwhile Paz's left, reinforced by the beat 
troops, defeated Kch ague's right, and thus obtained 
a splendid victory, 

It grieves me to have to otter a panegyric on an 

Anstrian general, yet nevertheleas, for the edification o 
oar young men, who will perhaps have once more to enga 
in combat with foreign Boldiers, I must relate the truth. 

The Areiidoke Albert was the true and only general at 
the battle of Cuatoza. Taking advantage oE the blunder wo 
had been guilty of, in crossing the Mincio on oar most 
extended line, between Mantna and Pescliiera, he made a 
feint of attacking our right aud centre, and, massing his 
three army-corps on our left, rented Dnrando'a corpK 
(which stood alone tliei-e) with the 80,000 men oader his 

Our centre and right, drawn off by some feigned 
cavalry charges, did not hear of the defeat of oar left 
till too late; and, in consequence of the mistakea made 
from the very beginning of the campaigD, six or seven 
splendid divisione had to retire, biting their tips witb 
vexation because they could not fight. 

I say, " mistakes made from the very beginning of tha 
campaign;" and, indeed, such waa the case. Why wot 
tbc army divided into two — a blander condemned in all 
ages? Perhaps to please the brilliant General Cialdini, 
to whom it was a matter of repugnance to obey Gcnei-al 
Lamarmoi'a, the chief of ataS ? Why was not one divi 
enough t« threaten the passage of the Po, without em- 
ploying on that Bervice 90,000 of the beat troops, who 
were of no nse except to give a shamefal appearance of 
retreat to the action of our gallant army ? 

I apeak of onr gallant army with pride. It is a real 
pain and grief to me that we shoald have lost tboso 
aplcndid generals — Govone, Bixio, Cagia, Sirtori, who 
achieved so much that day, at the head of onr brave 
soldiers. Through them, if thoy had been decently sup- 
ported, that battle-Geld would have been made gloriona 
with hymns of triumph. 

Young Officers — you who may yet perhaps have to face 


powerful enemies on the battle-field. These are the blunders 
committed on our side : Cucchiari's whole corps, consist- 
ing of three divisions, and Bixio's divisiou, with Prince 
Humbert's, Pianell's, and Cosenz*s — seven divisions in all — 
took no part in the battle, while the enemy's three army- 
corps were fighting with our left, and shattering it to 
pieces. All this was owiug to the Austrian general's 
sagacity. Besides the seven divisions which took no part 
in the eogagcment, more than thirty batteries of the reserve 
remained inactive, and withdrew from the field without 
firing a shot. 

If employed in time, all these untouched forces would 
have been quite enough by themselves completely to 
disperse an enemy necessarily shaken and demoralized by 
a day's fighting.